SIR: According to a report by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) there is enough brownfield land for almost 27,900 new homes in Hampshire. Many brownfield sites - defined as land that has previously been built on - now sit derelict or vacant but could provide a valuable resource in the protection of our green spaces and countryside.

CPRE state that more than 470 brownfield sites have been identified in Hampshire. Does Winchester City Council actively seek and keep a register of brownfield sites in the Winchester District and do they know how many of these sites have been built out since 2016?

This is even more important now that our housing secretary has confirmed in response to the planning white paper consultation that the government house building target would continue at 300,000 homes a year and that it would be prioritising brownfield sites and the regeneration of urban areas. Brownfield site regeneration will be particularly relevant as we rebuild post Covid-19 and will include new permitted development rights allowing most high street and town centre uses to convert to housing.

We urge Winchester City Council to introduce a ‘brownfield first’ policy as they refresh their local plan, to proactively call for brownfield sties and ensure previously developed or under-used land is prioritised above building over green fields and countryside.

Mrs Jan Warwick,

Member Save South Winchester Campaign Group,

Main Road,