FIRMER plans are emerging for the neighbourhood centre of the new Kings Barton estate.

CALA homes has been consulting over the heart of the new 2,000-home development being built on the edge of Winchester.

The developer intends to build a food store, care home, nursery, pub and community centre with two open spaces, The Park and The Yard, in the centre of the scheme.

Outline ideas first emerged pre-Covid in 2019 but now CALA has been refining the proposals. The most important change is that car parking will be moved away from the centre to behind the food store. The extra care home will be moved closer to the already-opened primary school, and the nursery moved next to the community centre.

READ MORE HERE: County council can do nothing to stop diversion of Andover Road through Kings Barton

CALA believes that will make the centre more permeable and people-friendly although the re-routed Andover Road will go through the middle.

Viv Hill, CALA head of design, told the King Barton Forum that a planning application for the proposals would be submitted this year.

Mr Hill said less car parking and fewer cars and better green spaces.

He said: "We have looked at the public car parking and looked to increase the landscaping and relocate the parking to the east and north of the food store, to meet concerns about queuing traffic on Andover Road."

SEE ALSO: Public opposes diversion of major road through Kings Barton housing estate

Mr Hill said CALA wanted to increase the permeability of the estate: "We want to create an east-west route of the public realm, this is an opportunity for landscaping and open space that was previously heavily parked."

Hampshire Chronicle:

The forum, a city council committee, heard that around 450 of the 2,000 homes have now been occupied.

Meanwhile, the Kings Barton Forum heard that there is widespread unhappiness over the plans to divert Andover Road through the estate.

Mike Slinn, of the Kings Barton Residents Association, reminded the forum that 3,000 people signed a petition against the diversion.

Hampshire Chronicle:

Mr Slinn said the feeling was strengthened with the plans for buses to use the current Andover Road. He said: "If the road is being kept open for buses why not for general traffic?"

Cllr Kelsie Learney said the road would close to all traffic but may at a later date be reopened for buses only.

Cllr Caroline Horrill, lead of the Conservative group on the city council, said the diversion decision was made more than 10 years ago when planning approval was given for the estate, then called Barton Farm. Significant changes have taken place in the area that will impact on that such as the proposed development of Sir John Moore Barracks. The local plan was earmarking 1,000 homes with an estimated 5,000 extra traffic movements a day.

The next Kings Barton Forum will be on July 11.

Forum chairman Steve Cramoysan said he would be inviting Hampshire County Council to attend to talk about the specifications for Winchester Avenue, the diverted Andover Road, and its plans for bus services.