Sunday, September 17, 2006


The good, the bad and the ugly

Planning is one of the most important functions of district councils like Winchester City Council. Although I'm not a member of the Planning Development Control Committee, I take a great interest in their work and, consequently, found myself on Friday on the annual planning tour.

This is a coach trip around the district looking at development sites, a real chance to form our own opinions on what is "good, bad and ugly." I was particularly interested to visit Knowle Village, right down in the southern parishes near Wickham. This is the site of a Victorian mental institution that has been developed to provide new housing alongside the original hospital buildings. The building themselves have been converted into flats and the whole thing is really a most attractive and imaginative development.

We also saw the so-called "Elan Development" in King's Worthy. I guess it's all a matter of taste, but I hated it! A recent development with vast areas of zinc roof, completely out of keeping with the rest of the village. A real contrast with Knowle and with other good developments we saw in places such as Sutton Scotney. Truly a "good, bad and ugly" day.
As someone who lives in the "so-called Elan development" I can report a steady stream of complimentary comments from visitors - they expect cramped and ordinary inner accomodation and find airy well-lit spaciousness. It's also developing into an extremely nice community.
John Leonard
I'm pleased to hear that. In fact I was at Elan Court only this morning collecting my daughter from one of her friends and I'm impressed with the interiors of the properties. You and I will have to agree to differ on the external view, particularly the expanse of metal roof which I really don't like. At the end of the day it all comes down to a matter of personal taste. Thanks for your comments.
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