THE first homes at Barton Farm are set to be occupied in late April.

Fifteen homes are due to be finished by CALA and so far five homes have been sold off-plan, a meeting heard.

The first phase of affordable housing, being built in the same style as the other housing, is also under construction, Barton Farm Forum was told.

First time buyers Darren Wright and Rhiannon Kerridge-Johns have had a commemorative date plaque added to their new home.

They were the first people to reserve their new two-bedroom home at the development when it launched last month.

CALA Homes invited the couple to have the date plaque added at the top of their new home to mark the first home to be completed on this landmark new development.

Darren said: “This is our first home together and it’s been very exciting to be able to watch the whole building process right from the beginning. Adding the date brick was a fabulous touch, it feels like we’re making our own little mark on the history of Winchester.”

Meanwhile the site for the new school is due to be handed over to the county council in late April. Planning consent has been granted and the school is due to open for the first pupils in September 2018.

Two members of the public addressed the forum and raised concerns.

Hugh Devas, of Main Road, Littleton, queried whether traffic would still be directed into the city along the new Andover road or whether it would go through Littleton. He was assured it would go on the new road.

Michael Toosey raised the issue that the temporary junction for phase B will see his driveway on Andover Road exiting onto the crossroads.

CALA and the county council, as highways authority, will look at the issue.

Land to the east of the railway will be a nature reserve to be managed by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Discussions between CALA, city councillors, council officers and Headbourne Worthy Parish Council has suggested the name Barton Meadows.

A management agreement is being finalised. Work to improve ecological value and public access is due to be started in early 2017.

More preparatory work will be done in January with the felling of several trees on Andover Road.

The forum next meets on March 1.

CALA got planning permission in 2012 for 2,000 homes on the farmland on the northern edge of Winchester – 800. Eight hundred of the homes must be some kind of social housing, available to people on the city council waiting list.

The provision of 2,000 homes, the biggest development in Winchester since the building of Badger Farm in the 1980s, has been a major part of Winchester’s requirement for homes in the Local Plan.

It was among Hampshire most controversial housing schemes, sparking campaigns and protest marches.

Construction, of what CALA is now calling Kings Barton, is due to finish in around 2025-26.