VILLAGERS had mixed feelings in Kings Worthy last week (November 20) over three sites for proposed housing.

Over 200 people from across the village flocked to St Mary’s Church when the exhibition first went on display on Tuesday (November 19) with dozens more turning out the following day at Tubbs Hall.

The sites include Top Field at Hookpit Farm Lane, Lovedon Lane and a site at the former Kings Worthy House near Eversley Park.

Sites quickly eradicated from the proposal included land at Woodlands Farm which contains an ancient monument.

Parish Councillor, Ian Gordon, said: “When Winchester City put forward their Local Plan Part one, we were aware we would have to start making some plans, with somewhere between 200-250 houses, but when the inspector came he said all the parishes of our size had to aim for the higher figure.

“We have had to come up with these now. We can’t wait until 2031 because the government said we’ve got to do this and we’ve come up with some viable options with what the council has set out.”

However, Cllr Gordon said the plan has not been without its problems.

“It looks great when they say they’ll give open green space to the parish but we’ve still got to find the money to maintain it so we are in a bit of a catch 22.”

Opposition to these sites were voiced boisterously by members of the recently-formed Top Field Action Group which has gathered over 120 questionnaires supporting their cause so far.

Chair of the group, Rosemary Clarke, said: “I’ve lived near this site for 20 years and it’s used by dog-walkers and horse riders and children learn to ride their bikes there. It’s a safe environment but that’s just why there’s a problem with the development.”

Secretary to the group, Sandie Evans, said: “We’re not saying don’t build, we’re just saying don’t build here. It’s the last bit of natural open space left in Kings Worthy and we’ve evidence of the wildlife that lives there.”

However, resident Hazel Balchin, 64, of Ramsay Road, said: “When I first moved here over 30 years ago there was nothing much here yet they march in here, all snobby complaining it’s going to be ‘another Stanmore’, and I get so angry about it. Everyone’s got to live somewhere, I don’t like building work but if it’s got to happen, so be it.”

The consultation period for the proposal ends on January 10 next year.