RESIDENTS in Alresford have another chance to influence the shape of the town over the next 25 years.

The town council has called a public meeting for next Wednesday (January 23) to discuss where 500 homes should be built.

It has been a controversial issue with a public meeting last May attracting more than 100 people.

The town’s council’s proposals, which would see Perins School and industry relocate to farmland off Sun Lane, was highly unpopular with people at the meeting.

Wednesday’s meeting at Alresford Recreation Centre starting at 7.30pm will hear from senior city council planner Steve Opacic who will assert that no development is not an option and that the town must accept 500 houses.

Town councillor Roy Gentry said: “Mr Opacic will be coming along to explain to everybody what we have got to do. We all have to do what the Winchester Local Plan says.”

Across the Winchester district some 11,000 houses will be built up to 2031.

Mr Gentry said: “With hindsight the town council made a mistake in doing what we did and making proposals. This time there will be no options on the table. We are going to talk about how we are going to move forward.”

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “There are a lot of people who although they live in modern houses do not want the town to grow any more.”

Ideas from Alresford must be received by the city council by May.

Although many people at the packed meeting last May offered to help drawing up alternative ideas very few have actually done so.

The likelihood is that the town council’s proposals from last year, which would also see housing for the retired replacing industry in the Dean, will go forward to the city council.

The town council has set up a series of sub-groups to look at important issues. Infrastructure meets on January 30, chaired by Margot Power; employment on February 27, chaired by Jan Field of Alresford Society; open spaces on March 6, Roy Gentry; housing March 13, Roger Lawes.