PROPOSALS to build a huge new town between Winchester and Hursley have today been revealed.

'Royaldown' will see the construction of 5,000 new homes – a number which MP Steve Brine said could be seen as an "April fool".

The plans drawn up by Keep Architecture also include a new access road, two primary schools, a secondary school, a park and ride, a health centre and several surrounding solar farms.

Mr Brine said: "On first reading you could well believe this is an April fool but it’s deadly serious and it must be resisted by Winchester City Council. After Barton Farm on one side of Winchester and Pitt Manor right next door to this, there’s only so much our landscape setting can take before it’s no longer there.

"We will not build back greener and protect our environment by concreting over vast swathes of the Hampshire countryside.

“Working alongside senior colleagues in Parliament, local MPs are doing their bit but city councillors need to join us and back sustainable balanced growth in any local plan refresh.”

If Royaldown comes to fruition, it will offer 3,000 more homes than the Barton Farm development on Andover Road.

James Turner, project lead, told the Chronicle: "This scheme has been put forward as there is an ongoing requirement to deliver new homes within the local plan.

"Royaldown is a new way of building a community, which has been designed with Climate Change and people's changing lifestyle needs at its heart - whether this be through the delivery of a 200-acre country park, state-of-the-art education facilities or delivering on Winchester's movement strategy.

"We plan on sharing more detailed information in the coming weeks, which will inform people’s opinions on Royaldown, and demonstrate that this is a community scheme for the changing way in which people will want to live in the future."

Hampshire County Councillor and Hursley resident Jan Warwick said that local residents will be "shocked when they understand the scale of this proposal".

"The housing need must be demonstrated, and brownfield regeneration should come ahead of carpeting over green fields, she said. "These plans will eclipse our downlands landscape and the historic village of Hursley.

"This document makes claims about removing congestion, but this number of houses will impose thousands of additional traffic movements every day on the traffic queues along Badger Farm Road and Poles Lane.

"I have confidence that our community will pull together and fight these proposals but we will need our city councillors to play their part too."

The section of the map outlined in red shows the site boundaries of Royaldown.

Hampshire Chronicle:

"Hursley parish councillors were concerned to hear about these plans," said chairman David Killeen.

"The community should have been consulted first and allowed to input on the amount and type of development in our parish.

"We understand how we can best protect our historic heritage and rural landscape whilst permitting some necessary housing.

"We have just completed a parish plan are now preparing a neighbourhood plan for our area."


Eleanor Bell, city councillor for Badger Farm and Oliver's Battery ward, is also agains the new town.

She said: "My colleagues and I are strongly opposed to these plans. The proposals are too big, in the wrong place, and will be a disaster for Oliver’s Battery and Hursley, and won’t work for the Winchester and the District either.

"The sheer size and scale alone are concerning, but because of its location it is effectively creating an urban sprawl right in the heart of our countryside.
It’s crazy to be putting another 5,000 houses on this side of Winchester with no serious plan to manage the extra traffic.  It's more than twice the number of houses planned for Kings Barton.

"Adding a new road will make the problem worse, not better.

"This is not the development our area needs, it is too big and destroys our important green spaces.  We will fight it all the way." 

Councillor Jackie Porter, city council cabinet member for planning added: "This site was submitted for the council's SHELAA which is a register of sites that developers want to build, but it definitely doesn't mean that permission follows. 

"The developer is starting to promote this site and talk to local people with warm words, but in reality, local people are extremely angry and fearful of building in this location.

"The Conservative-backed plans for greenfield sites to be  'growth areas' in their proposals for new style local plans are adding to this worry."