A LABOUR councillor has called for a review of Winchester City Council’s new homes build programme.

Janet Berry urged the council to rethink some of the sites it has earmarked for development, including playgrounds and already occupied houses, due to opposition from residents.

It comes after housing bosses dropped plans to demolish and replace homes in Milland Road, Highcliffe, after a resident complained.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Cllr Berry said: “Residents in our estates in Winchester have been upset by proposals to demolish homes or build on open spaces. Council homes provide a vital means of support to hard working families.

“Our staff have been given an opportunity to start building homes badly needed in the city. The council should build the right homes in the right place at the right rent.”

Andrew Palmer, head officer for new homes delivery, said he was “more than happy” to carry out a review but that nearby residents were consulted before every development and there were no plans to demolish homes.

He said: “The only such scheme was Milland Road and we are no longer pursuing it. We are following our consultation procedures in regards to all the sites we develop.

“The site in Milland Road was first identified in 2002/2003 as a potential development site. Since then at least one of the residents has changed. It was included in our development programme approved in June 2012 and as part of the process we informed all of the residents that we were looking at that scheme.

“We made it very clear to people who were affected what the council would do and that included us rehousing them and offering them compensation. But one resident was still very concerned about the development and the decision was taken to remove the site.”

Council leader Keith Wood added: “One of the biggest problems I see with this is that everyone sees council homes as a wonderful thing provided they are not built near them.”

The Cabinet also rubber-stamped this year’s budget for new developments, although it will go to full council for final approval.