City council set to approve major new housing development in Abbotts Barton

3:45pm Tuesday 26th February 2013

WINCHESTER City Council is set to build 50 affordable homes in Abbotts Barton over the next six years.

A council committee will discuss the £7.5m plans at a meeting tomorrow morning (Feb 27).

It is part of an overall programme to build 350 affordable homes in the district in the next 10 years.

The council wants to build on a mix of open space and garages in Austen Close, Dyson Drive, Charles Close, Hussey Close, Hillier Way and Colbourne Court.

Houses would be a mix of three-bed family homes, two-bed flats and dormer bungalows.

But the development would also provide landscaping for new public spaces, including a new footbridge and trim trail along Nuns Walk.

Cllr Ian Tait, portfolio holder for new homes delivery, said: “It is a real privilege to be leading the Council’s New Homes Programme. I recognise that getting the balance right between maximising the number of homes delivered and ensuring that they respect the needs of the existing community can be very demanding. Winchester is a city that has seen continual development over its history and good quality, well-designed homes will only go to strengthen and enhance this vibrant place.”

The proposals follow months of consultation with residents and many opposed the plans for reasons including losing green spaces, introducing parking permits and overcrowding the area.

But in a report to the committee, Andrew Palmer, head of new homes delivery, said: “While there was significant objection from many to the proposals for new housing, many also appreciated the need for additional homes and were able to identify where they would prefer housing to go.

“The council is engaging with a local action group which has been established, to further discussions on the framework.”

Cllr Tait added: “As we move forward with our proposals to deliver around 50 new homes in Abbotts Barton we will continue to work with local residents and take into account their thoughts and issues as far as we possibly can.”

The council would also set up a community lettings plan for new residents giving priority to local people needing affordable homes and taking into account employment and school factors.

If approved the proposals will go to a full council meeting and then on to a planning committee.

The council’s waiting list is currently 3,500 strong with 100 more joining each month and an average wait period of three to six years.

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