Residents hit out at council housing plans for Winchester

Daily Echo: Residents hit out at council housing plans for Winchester Residents hit out at council housing plans for Winchester

WINCHESTER residents criticised plans to build new homes at a council meeting on Tuesday.

Council officers are proposing to identify sites in Abbotts Barton and Stanmore for new housing, part of a programme to build 300 homes over the next decade.

But around 25 Abbotts Barton residents vehemently opposed the proposals at a meeting. Brian Espiner, 65, of Chaundler Road, said: “I bought my house because it has a magnificent tree opposite and if it were to go the quality of my life would decrease significantly.

“I’ve lived here for 22 years and my children used to play on the green, so I’d hate to see that built upon. I do not disapprove of council house building, but children playthere in full view of their parents and everyone feels safe.”

Sally Eames, 60, of Charles Close, added: “The parking is bad enough now when people come to walk their dogs, or park and walk to the station. What’s going to happen when you build more houses and bring more people in?”

Residents have formed an action group to combat proposals to build on sites like the green on Dyson Drive. Councillors and officers said homes were needed, but suitability of sites would be fairly decided.

Cllr Ian Tait, portfolio holder for new homes delivery, said: “I feel we should be building in Abbotts Barton, but I’m not the decision-maker. There’s a robust planning process and there will certainly be public consultation on the plans.”

Steve Tilbury, council corporate director, added: “It is important members of the public understand our message. Officers have been charged with finding places to build new council houses and we are proceeding on that basis and we are looking at finding places to build in Abbotts Barton.

“A planning committee does not take into account that the council is the applicant. We do not get an easier ride and if anything it is slightly the other way round. It is not a done deal.”

The proposals to explore Stanmore and Abbotts Barton for sites will now go to cabinet and if approved a consultation with residents of both areas will be arranged for late September.

Comments (4)

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2:44pm Sun 23 Sep 12

JoLovegrove says...

I was of the understanding that the properties in Chaundler Road were Council owned before they were sold on when the Tories took over. Perhaps if they hadn't been sold on in the first place we wouldn't be in the situation we are in now with such a desperate need for 3 and 4 bedroom properties throughout Winchester. There will always be people opposed to the building of new properties no matter where their chosen sites are but the reality of it is that we are in desperate need of more housing and the green in question is always empty when I've driven past. I have family that live in Abbotts Barton and yes parking is an issue there but if they introduced parking permits like they have on other estates in Winchester, it would ward off anyone using the area to park so they can walk into Town or to the Station.
I was of the understanding that the properties in Chaundler Road were Council owned before they were sold on when the Tories took over. Perhaps if they hadn't been sold on in the first place we wouldn't be in the situation we are in now with such a desperate need for 3 and 4 bedroom properties throughout Winchester. There will always be people opposed to the building of new properties no matter where their chosen sites are but the reality of it is that we are in desperate need of more housing and the green in question is always empty when I've driven past. I have family that live in Abbotts Barton and yes parking is an issue there but if they introduced parking permits like they have on other estates in Winchester, it would ward off anyone using the area to park so they can walk into Town or to the Station. JoLovegrove

11:28am Mon 24 Sep 12

wheresthemoneygone says...

It's important to protect the green spaces that we have.The importance of this should not be overlooked but building policies look as if they are going to be steam-rollered through.Developers are scrambling to increase profits and this council and government is going to make it a lot easier for them, irrespective of what people really want or actually need - which is local employment, a reasonable standard of living and decent housing - which should largely be council housing.In the process valued green space will be lost, urban areas will be overpopulated and and resources to support this will not be forthcoming.Without environment and housing policy turnarounds the standard of living for ordinary folk ( those living below a family income of £30,000) in Winchester is in a rapidly increasing decline ( including, the poor or non-existant bus services, the future closure of Winchester Hospital, the disappearance of efficient health and welfare systems).
It's important to protect the green spaces that we have.The importance of this should not be overlooked but building policies look as if they are going to be steam-rollered through.Developers are scrambling to increase profits and this council and government is going to make it a lot easier for them, irrespective of what people really want or actually need - which is local employment, a reasonable standard of living and decent housing - which should largely be council housing.In the process valued green space will be lost, urban areas will be overpopulated and and resources to support this will not be forthcoming.Without environment and housing policy turnarounds the standard of living for ordinary folk ( those living below a family income of £30,000) in Winchester is in a rapidly increasing decline ( including, the poor or non-existant bus services, the future closure of Winchester Hospital, the disappearance of efficient health and welfare systems). wheresthemoneygone

11:33am Mon 24 Sep 12

wheresthemoneygone says...

That should read, standards of living will 'rapidly decline'.
That should read, standards of living will 'rapidly decline'. wheresthemoneygone

2:19pm Wed 26 Sep 12

JoLovegrove says...

We are incredibly lucky living in Winchester as we are surrounded by Green Spaces. Some much needed housing on an already built up area isn't going to make that much of a difference - we need to find spaces in Winchester that can be built on to accommodate the increasing need for people requiring social housing. This is one of Winchesters' biggest problems...where would you recommend these houses are built if not in Abbotts Barton?
We are incredibly lucky living in Winchester as we are surrounded by Green Spaces. Some much needed housing on an already built up area isn't going to make that much of a difference - we need to find spaces in Winchester that can be built on to accommodate the increasing need for people requiring social housing. This is one of Winchesters' biggest problems...where would you recommend these houses are built if not in Abbotts Barton? JoLovegrove

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