Welborne

Background

Welborne, the largest proposed new development in Hampshire and the South of England, was one of the 14 “Garden Villages” selected by Government in January 2017 and is at the most advanced stage of those selected. The land was identified as a strategic development area by Fareham Borough Council (FBC) and adopted in the Council’s Welborne Plan in 2015. The large mixed-use development covers approximately 1,000 acres of land north of Fareham, Hampshire, located between Southampton and Portsmouth.

Buckland represents the vision and aspirations of the Thistlethwayte Family, which controls and manages the 7,000-acre Southwick Estate, part of which has been allocated for the proposed 6,000 home mixed-use development and new community of Welborne. Buckland has been closely involved in shaping the Council’s plans over the last decade, initially lobbying FBC to reduce the allocated area and housing numbers from 10,000 to 6,000, ensuring that the available space was able to deliver much more over the long-term.

Following years of masterplanning by Buckland and its team of consultants, Buckland submitted an outline planning application for the entire Garden Village on 6th March 2017. The outline planning application includes the location and distribution of main land uses, infrastructure delivery plan programme details, means of access and proposed key access points and green infrastructure, public open spaces and community provision.

Key project information

Buckland’s plans for Welborne include:

  • Up to 6,000 new homes
  • A secondary school, three primary schools and a nursery
  • A District Centre and a Village Centre with associated retail and leisure facilities
  • Over 100,000m2 of commercial and warehouse space (potential for over 5,700 jobs)
  • Extensive areas of public open space – including parkland, woodland, playgrounds and a variety of sports facilities and pitches
  • Community facilities, including a health centre, a market hall and community centres
  • Associated infrastructure, including remodelling M27 J10, works to A32 and creation of roads within Welborne to accommodate extension of a Bus Rapid Transit
  • A network of pedestrian and cycle routes, creating connectivity with the surrounding local villages and Fareham

How we assisted

We have supported Buckland over a number of years, both during its masterplanning process and more recently providing communications and consultation support around the submission of its outline planning application.

We provided communication and consultation support over a number of years, managing large scale public consultation events, facilitating targeted stakeholder meetings (including with local MP, Suella Fernandes) and creating a Community Liaison Group, which meets on a quarterly basis. Given the complex nature of the project and the significant media interest, we have also undertaken a significant amount of press activity, liaising closely with local journalists, as well as managing and responding to enquiries from local papers and trade publications.

Our work with Buckland has been varied and includes the hosting and management of the Buckland website, as well as its social media channels.

Outcome 

While the project will still be running for many years (and the outline planning application has yet to be determined), our work to date has helped to ensure that the local community and key stakeholders have access to accurate information and understand Buckland’s vision and aspirations for Welborne. The concept of Welborne has always been controversial, but we have helped to foster productive relationships, particularly with local community groups, who have developed a better understanding of Buckland’s commitment to creating a new Garden Village with a lasting legacy.