Two thousand homes approved at Barton Farm

Press Release: 02/10/2012

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government today announced his decision to approve the appeal by Cala Homes to build 2,000 homes at the Barton Farm site to the north of Winchester.

Winchester City Council rejected the planning application in 2010 on the grounds that it was premature, stating that there was little evidence to suggest that the housing need and lack of development had reached the levels required to release this site. The Secretary of State initially supported the Council’s position but had to review his decision when it was ruled unlawful. He has now decided to give consent for the application.

Cllr Keith Wood, Leader of the City Council, commented, “Personally I am disappointed that the time has come to release this site for housing but the Secretary of State has applied his own rules and we have no choice but to follow them. We argued strongly about the application, but we have been overtaken by events. The Council now needs to ensure that the development of this site generates all the promised benefits to the community. We plan to set up a forum to help ensure that the development minimises the disruption to Winchester residents, and the infrastructure requirements are implemented properly and promptly.”

The Council has previously involved stakeholders and local residents to get their contribution to the master planning of the site to help address local issues and ensure the development sits well in the context of Winchester. Given the history of this site the Council chose to take the responsible step to influence the design, infrastructure and layout of the scheme throughout its development rather than risk a poor quality scheme being taken through the planning process.