TRAFFIC chaos worries and concerns about the impact on neighbouring villages were heard as plans for the future of Winchester barracks went out to consultation.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), part of the Ministry of Defence, and its development partners held the first public consultation event on a scheme for Sir John Moore Barracks.

Planning chiefs presented its masterplan concept of a “new sustainable mixed-use community” before a draft masterplan is set to be revealed in the spring of next year.

Developers have said that cycling and walking will be promoted within the site, with proposals already being drawn up for how buses will be able to move around the site.

“We have identified a number of access points to the north of the site and where we would also seek to utilise a park and ride facility,” said Andy Roberts from the development team.

Concerns were raised about how plans to divert Andover Road through Barton Farm would affect the development of the barracks and additional traffic that would be generated.

Transport planner James Paddon, from Capita, said: “Through the plans to increase to bus services, add a park and ride site to improve active travel, so a good travel plan through the site, we would hope to mitigate as much as possible of the trips that the site generates.”

Residents also asked for consideration to be made about the potential for traffic travel through Littleton to the new development.

“We can’t ensure there won’t be new trips that go through Littleton as far as cars, but we can manage the heavy goods side of things,” Mr Paddon said.

“The main access points will be on Andover R oad, you might have seen plans that show Chestnut Avenue or a route onto Kennal Lane both are really these being looked at at the moment, the aim for them would be pedestrian, cycle route and emergency access vehicles just in case there is a major accident on Andover Road.

“We would not be looking for them to be major access that would generally be used by cars accessing the site.”

Those who lived in Littleton also wanted to know what impact the development would have on the way of life in the neighbouring village.

Mr Roberts said: “We are certainly aware of what amenities exist within Littleton at the moment and we are also aware of, we have had similar feedback already from the community.

“That has really driven our approach around the masterplanning of the site to almost create this distinct self-contained place which is very well contained in terms of landscape, buffers and open space, however if the existing communities want to access the site and access the facilities that will be provided then they can do.

“It is its own sustainable place with its own facilities, the existing communities around them can continue to live their separate lives.”

Town planner Nick Alston said that “we have to develop and the focus as a starting point should be brownfield land such as sites such as these” to meet the Government’s target of almost 700 homes a year for Winchester.

A variety of housing has been proposed, including apartments and specialist elderly accommodation, along with a neighbourhood centre which could include community and sport and leisure facilities.

The virtual event also heard that discussions are ongoing with Hampshire County Council and the NHS regarding schools and GP surgeries, respectively.

In 2016 the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that the base would close in December 2021, but it was given a temporary reprieve in 2019 and the site will be vacated on a phased basis between 2022 and 2024.