WINCHESTER’S biggest development since the 1980s began today as work started on Barton Farm.

One of the city’s main access points will be disrupted while workers clear a path for machinery to build the 2,000-home estate.

Around 20 trees were felled as Andover Road North was reduced to one lane near the site, between Harestock Road and Henry Beaufort School.

Temporary traffic lights will go up near the new junction in January.

Some Andover Road residents will live with construction on their doorstep for up to a decade.

Anthony Murden, who lives opposite the new junction, said nearby Wellhouse Lane, which will link with the new estate, would make a better access point as the work would disrupt fewer people and fix a notorious accident spot.

“It’s a staggeringly poor solution,” he said. “It’s going to be a huge amount of inconvenience to everyone coming in and out of Winchester. At what point would we get consulted about points like this? Do the public ever get consulted about major traffic changes? I’m not sure they do."

Hampshire Chronicle:

Anthony Murden is unhappy that the temporary access work is taking place outside his house

Mr Murden, himself an architect, added that he accepted inconvenience and supported the development but was sceptical that work on the junction would stay temporary.

He has been told by Winchester City Council to expect work opposite his house for up to six years.

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s going to be horrendous when the heavy stuff starts. This road is going to be a mud bath. Why they chose not to go in from Wellhouse Lane I’ve got absolutely no idea.”

Andover Road, Winchester's main access point from the north, is set to be rerouted through the Barton Farm development. The current road, which follows a path first laid by the Romans, will become a pedestrian boulevard.

Developer Cala Homes said work on the junction will continue until December 19, pausing over Christmas and New Year and resuming from January 5 until the end of March 2015.

Works will be carried out from 7.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 7.30am to 1pm on Saturdays.

House building is expected to start in the spring.