WINCHESTER green campaigners have vowed to make the most of the Barton Farm development.

Around 50 activists have thrashed out ways of maximising benefits to the district.

The city council’s operations director, Steve Tilbury, told a meeting that developers Cala Homes are free to build the scheme according to current planning consent, but that there remains scope to influence the proposals.

Concerns raised at the hearing ranged from ensuring the new village was fully integrated with surrounding settlements to maximising energy efficiency.

Chris Holloway, director of Winchester Action for Climate Change (WinACC), said: “We’ve got a good balance between concerns about long-term issues such as climate change and issues such as sustainability, combined with practical concerns about what people are really going to be able to afford the housing.”

WinACC volunteer James Martin-Jones, who conducted the meeting, said the mood was of pragmatism.

“There’s still a lot that can be influenced. We want to try and make sure that future discussions are productive,” he said.

City councillor Kelsie Learney felt integration of Barton Farm with the surrounding area was a priority. She said: “My ward is Littleton and Harestock. With Barton Farm we are going to be seeing new facilities and shops and I want my residents to get the most out of it.”

The event, titled Barton Farm: the opportunity, was organised jointly by WinACC, the City of Winchester Trust and Winchester Friends of the Earth.

Cala Homes intend to start work on the 2,000-home site by 2014.