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Conservation watchdogs express disappointment over Barton Farm
The City of Winchester Trust said it is unhappy that the Secretary of State has not only favoured the development but also without improving what is currently proposed.
The trust says it has always opposed piecemeal development in the city's incomparable setting, but acknowledges the need for affordable housing and the past designation of the area for growth, which have led to this decision.
If Barton Farm must now be developed, the trust will work with the city council and Cala Homes to achieve the best possible result.
Although all these may not be possible, its wish list includes: Reduction of the built-up area to keep it south of the tree-lined ridge to preserve an element of the green wedge and create a more sustainable development; increasing the density to that of the nearby area of Hyde would easily achieve this; Retention of the present line of the main road avoiding the proposed diversion of all traffic through the new residential area and the loss of the historic route into the City. Andover Road could then be reduced to single carriageway with wide, tree-lined verges like the best of our other radial roads; Re-phasing the development to start at the south and spread north from there. Not only is this a more natural form of growth but, should the economy cause delays or even cessation, it would avoid scattered groups of houses in the countryside; Investigation of other aspects such as the best means of achieving the 40 per cent of affordable homes, the best possible reduction of the carbon footprint, exemplary building and landscape design, etc.