Friday, November 30, 2007


Planning for Winchester's Future

Winchester City Council has just launched the consultation process for the Core Strategy document which will, eventually, form part of the District's Local Development Framework. The document published this week is the Draft Issues and Options Paper from which the Council will need to develop its own Preferred Options Paper by summer 2008. This will in turn go to public examination and a binding Inspector's Report over the following 12 months.

One critical factor which drives this whole process is the government's requirements for housebuilding in the south-east. The South East Plan requires Winchester District to provide land for some 12,240 new dwellings in the period 2006-2026. Of these, 500 have already been built and a further 3,525 are committed. That leaves 8,215 of which roughly half are expected to be located within the so-called PUSH area bordering on Portsmouth and Fareham. The other 4,000 will need to be built in the northern part of the District, in or around Winchester itself or around the market towns like Alresford, or in some combination of these options.

So what does this mean for Oliver's Battery & Badger Farm? Among the "spatial options" in the draft document are a number of possible ways of developing the area in and around Winchester city. These include building within the existing boundaries of the city, but including Barton Farm and the local reserve development sites at Pitt Manor and Abbotts Barton, or expanding the built-up area of Winchester to the north, north-west, west or south.

Obviously I would be very concerned to see the south option going forward as this would be likely to include the land between Olivers Battery and Compton which was successfully defended in the current Local Plan. There's no cause for panic. This is just one option of many, but we need to be aware that the south of Winchester needs defending again. The full document is available on the City Council website, follow this link to read it.
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