COUNCILLORS have expressed anger at a perceived lack of community facilities after viewing the latest plans for Barton Farm.

At a special forum on Wednesday night (May 29), they saw a presentation on the progress of the proposed development but made their dissatisfaction clear.

Cllr Jane Rutter said: “I just think what's proposed is totally inadequate. There's just one central community hall, whereas in Kings Worthy, there at least three hubs, so I would like to see better provision.”

Former mayor, Cllr Frank Pearson said: “In Swanmore, for example, we have three or four community halls, all actively used. Can you give us some answers that will reassure us? Because at the moment, your answers do not give me that satisfaction.”

Leader of the city council, Cllr Keith Wood, said he understood the concerns, adding: “It would be a pity if we could not have some influence on community facilities. But I think it's something that has got to be provided at a later stage and we will see what exactly can be provided.”

Around 50 members of the public were at Winchester Guildhall to receive an update from the developers, Cala, on plans for 2,000 homes on the outskirts of Winchester.

There was debate on the numbers of people who would be living at Barton Farm, with deputy mayor, Eileen Berry, estimating that as many as 8,000 could be requiring the community facilities - a figure dismissed by Mike Emett, Cala land director.

He said: “It's important not to overestimate the numbers here. The average household in the UK is 2.3. If you do the maths on 2,000 homes, it's not going to be anywhere near 8,000 people.”

Marcus Adams, of John Thompson and Partners, who have been hired by Cala to create the design code for the site, said they favoured a large, central community hub.

“My concern is that if you distribute those community facilities too much, too far away, you may detract from the vitality of the centre.”

Several members of the public addressed the meeting, with the re-routing of Andover Road a primary concern.

Developers want to close the road off and turn it into and extended foot and cycle path, while diverting motor traffic through the centre of the development.

A 'stopping up order' would be required to do this, which some campaigners plan to challenge.

But Steve Tilbury, the city's corporate director, said: “The Secretary of State has already considered the proposal for stopping up the road. There is nothing to discuss with Cala about the scheme in that respect - they have the planning consent already.”