RESIDENTS had their first chance to debate a strategy to influence where development takes place during the next 20 years.

Winchester City Council is holding workshops across the district, having released its first draft last month.

Seven events are planned, and the first took place at the Jubilee Hall, Bishop's Waltham, last night.

Around 200 people gathered at the venue, with many residents standing at the back of the building.

The council's head of strategic planning, Steve Opacic, advised the audience that individual sites were not being earmarked for development at this stage.

Instead, the purpose of the evening was to gauge opinion on what types of homes were needed, the infrastructure required, and how to tackle transport and environmental issues.

Residents then went into several groups to discuss the issues and brainstorm ideas.

One table chose housing density, carbon reduction, economic growth, community facilities and whether to build on fields or developed land as the vital subjects.

They debated them at the expense of other possible issues including tourism, car parking, and waste management.

Bishop's Waltham Parish Councillor, Dorothy Quiney, said they needed more doctors and activities for youths.

Several other residents also called for greater powers to stop gardens making way for extra properties.

Following the workshops, Cllr Keith Wood, city council cabinet member for planning, said they received plenty of useful feedback.