CIVIC chiefs have pledged to mitigate Winchester residents losing open space to new housing.

The council is more than a year into a 10-year plan to build 300 homes across the city, including controversial schemes to build on parkland and a playground in Abbotts Barton and Weeke respectively.

Speaking at a full council meeting last Wednesday (July 17), Cllr Anne Weir, who represents Weeke, asked what assurances the council would give to affected residents.

Leader Keith Wood said residents were consulted with on these schemes but that steps would be taken to make up for any loss of space.

He said: “I think that where land is being taken for housing then we will try to mitigate loss of open space. Consultation is important and I think it’s something we should do properly but we cannot go on consulting forever. There comes a point where a decision has to be made.”

Cllr Ian Tait, former portfolio holder for new homes delivery, added there should be a balance between maintaining open space and providing affordable homes to tackle the housing waiting list.

He said: “The principle of delivering affordable housing is so important that there will be occasions where the council will consider the loss of open space in favour of the housing.”