SIR: According to the Green Building Council, construction accounts for 39 per cent of all carbon emissions worldwide. Winchester City Council has announced a climate emergency committing to reducing carbon where they can. Should we not therefore simply abandon, or greatly reduce the Silver Hill/Central Winchester Regeneration Plan? Most of it cannot be deemed essential and is likely to take several years to complete, all the time spewing out carbon dioxide by the ton. That goes for Royaldown and the Sir John Moore Barracks too. We know that due to its nationally reported popularity, Winchester is becoming massively over developed and that with developers such as CALA Homes dragging out the completion and release of their houses, to ensure the pricing stays optimal (for them), there must be enough proposed housing already approved to meet local needs. There should therefore be a new criteria for refusal within the planning department's remit: "This planning application is not deemed essential and therefore fails to satisfy our commitment on climate change" Oh, and while you're at it revising the planning rules, put a time constraint in for permissions granted such as Barton Farm. It is not in the public interest for developers to deliberately work a go-slow just to keep the price up. If the development is not economically viable based on a reduced market price, perhaps developers will be less keen on ripping up our green and pleasant land in the first place.

Chris Blackman,

Cheriton Road,



SIR: How exciting to read in your paper (April 29) that a local consortium of experienced property people are coming up with a stage 1 masterplan for a part of the Central Winchester Regeneration site.

Such a staged approach would accord with the Supplementary Planning Document adopted in June 2018, following the public participation process through JTP in 2017.

As the article says "All the council has to do for the regeneration process to commence is to agree the plan and a price for the site". That would indeed be wonderful, and all the better with cross-party support within the city council.

Julian English,

Courtenay Road,


SIR: I commend the views of Kim Gottlieb and his team and the subsequent letters written by your readers supporting the alternative views on how to deal with Silver Hill.

Perhaps it is time that we restructure our local government so that it is being run by representatives who have the power, expertise and experience to deliver such a project? It seems clear that change of this scale is not safe in the hands of councillors who are scared to make the wrong decisions and do not have any experience of delivering something so challenging. Is it now time we had the power to vote for a paid executive/mayoral team capable of delivering on strategic planning decisions such as this?

As tax payers in this beautiful city, one way of another we deserve the requisite level of courage and professionalism from our decision-makers to listen, observe and finally get this project moving.

Richard Carter,

Stratton Road,

St Giles Hill,