COUNCILLOR Ian Tait is to be applauded for raising the issue about housebuilding in and around Winchester.

For many years members of Winchester City Council found it expedient to oppose the development of Barton Farm even though only a moron in a hurry was unaware that the scheme would eventually have to be built.

Cllr Tait was the only councillor with an active political career who publicly came out in favour of the 2,000-home scheme. Other voices were raised by those retiring. Most kept quiet.

But Cllr Tait has not stopped there. He continues to raise the issue and say that more houses are needed.

The fact is that Winchester must continue to grow, as it has done for the last 150 years, spurred first by the arrival of the railway and latterly by the M3.

It is no good residents already in their homes, usually built on green fields in the last 50 years, to say that’s enough.

No-one is saying that another Barton Farm is needed this year, or next, but sooner or later a major new development will have to take place, probably on the farmland the other side of Well House Lane up to Three Maids Hill.

The alternative will be a city that gets older and richer as the young and less affluent are forced out.

No-one should want to see that.