Secretary of State ‘breaks ground’ at new 6,000 home Welborne development

WINCHESTER, England, June 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The first of many thousands of lines of hedges was planted today by Secretary of State Rt Hon Michael Gove in a ceremony at Welborne, Hampshire. The Welborne development, situated north of the town of Fareham on the edge of the South Downs, will accommodate 6,000 houses, several schools, a village centre, a town centre, and a significant Science and Technology Park. 50% of the total area will be green space, comprised of woods, parks, sports facilities and gardens.

The event was also attended by Rt Hon Suella Braverman, MP for Fareham, who has been a longstanding supporter of the scheme.

Unlike many other existing and recent developments of such size and scale, Welborne takes its cue from the Garden Village movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a period sometimes referred to as the ‘golden age’ of housebuilding. All the buildings are designed in a traditional Hampshire vernacular, with wide streets lined with grass verges and mature trees. The upkeep and stewardship of the site will be taken on by the Welborne Garden Village Trust, a resident-led initiative and a nod to garden villages and towns like Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City.

Speaking at the event Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP said: 

“Protecting our beautiful landscapes in cherished places like Welborne is vital, while we seek to deliver the high quality homes and infrastructure that local communities need. 

“I was delighted to see first-hand this ground-breaking vision for a modern garden village where local communities can input into the surroundings of the area they call home. 

“As part of our commitment to build 300,000 homes every year, we want developers right across the country to embrace projects like Welborne so local people can reap the benefits of beautiful homes and greener neighbourhoods as we continue to deliver on our housebuilding targets.” 

Speaking at the event Mark Thistlethwayte, Chairman of Buckland Group which is the Master Developer and owner of the 1,000-acre site and is the driving force behind Welborne said:

“After more than seventeen years of hard work behind the scenes, it’s a pleasure to see that our vision for Welborne is finally taking shape. It is great to have the support of the SoS, Homes England, HCC and FBC as we progress with this, one of the biggest privately funded community developments in the UK. At Welborne we are seeking to create a place that people will be happy to call home now, and in one hundred years’ time.”

The development has benefitted from £40m of forward funding via the Housing Infrastructure Fund from Homes England, which will be used to partially fund the upgrade Junction 10 of the M27.

That deal was brokered by Hampshire County Council under its leader Rob Humby. The scheme, which was originally conceived by Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, will see first residents move in next year.

The development will also pioneer the first large-scale use of an underground heat source network heating scheme. All homes at Welborne will be heated (and cooled in the summer) by this renewable, zero carbon technology, delivered in partnership with Rendesco and Portsmouth Water.

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About Welborne

Welborne is a nationally significant development, located between the South Downs National Park and the Hampshire Coast, just North of Fareham. It will be a Garden Village for the twenty-first century, built around a modern sustainable community. The project is one of the largest, private developments in the UK, comprising of 6,000 homes, plus shops, schools, woods, parks, business premises and healthcare facilities. There will be fourteen neighbourhoods, each with its own identity, designed in a traditional Hampshire vernacular with wide streets and mature trees. The Village Centre will have an array of shops and cafes, making the most of locally sourced produce and maximising local employment opportunities. The development will also pioneer the first large-scale use of an underground heat source network scheme.

About Buckland Group

The Buckland Group is a diversified group of over 30 dynamic businesses owned and run by Mark Thistlethwayte. The Hampshire based Buckland Group has a strong historical connection to the area. Each of the companies in the Buckland Group shares a common philosophy based on taking a long-term and sustainable approach to foster success across all the projects and partnerships with which it is involved. The Buckland Group has already spent 17 years bringing forward their vision for Welborne and is committed to its long-term future, not only through delivering this exemplar development, but through supporting the ongoing stewardship over the decades ahead.


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