RESIDENTS and developers have been arguing their case over the Winchester District Local Plan.

The plan will steer development over the next 20 years and is a vital tool for the city council.

A planning inspector has been holding an examination in public and was due to hear from more than 100 witnesses ranging from developers, architects, business groups, charities, parish councils and faith groups.

Sessions were set aside for evidence from Winchester, Alresford, Bishop’s Waltham, Swanmore, Colden Common and Wickham.

The city council argues its plans for homes, including 2,000 at Barton Farm, mean that other proposals such as Vale Farm at Pitt are not needed.

On Monday Alresford residents voiced their concern at plans for a roundabout on the A31.

The plans would allow access to the proposed 300-home Sun Lane development in Alresford.

At the Local Plan Part Two examination meeting on Monday, July 18 residents said they were concerned for safety at the junction as the A31 attracts speeds of up to 60mph.

Alan Greenwood, of the Alresford Professional Group, said this was the first he had heard of the plans.

“In my experience,” said the former Hampshire County Council transport officer, “I have never seen a roundabout located in such a quick area on a down slope. I am amazed a roundabout can be built there.”

Mark Philcox, highways development officer at Hampshire County Council, responded: “We feel the roundabout will not affect the bypass function.”

Locals also criticised the council’s decision to back plans for more than 300 homes at Sun Lane.

Resident Robert Fowler said: “325 homes will become a town. It won’t be part of New Alresford or Old Alresford but will be Alresford New Town.

“It will be completely isolated. Putting that amount of housing on one site is absolutely crazy. This, in my opinion, does not make for a good social development.”

Chris Rees, speaking for Alfred Homes who have submitted plans for a development next to Arlebury Park, said: “This is not a beauty contest but 69 per cent of people came through to support our scheme. This is a significant number.”

Alfred wants to build 60 homes on the land off The Avenue owned by local farmer Rodney Morgan-Giles.

The application includes an extended public car park, open space and landscaping and internal access roads.

The development, named Alderwood, includes 19 homes for the over-55s and 40 per cent affordable housing (24 homes).

Wednesday was due to be the last day before the hearings close and the inspector makes his decision on the plan.