WE hear a lot about the need to preserve greenfield by utilising space within built-up areas.

Belgarum was perusing an old Ordnance Survey map of Winchester from the late 1890s and was struck by the number of houses built across the city that are no longer there. Roads have been widened, slum areas have been swept away for new uses.

The Weirs provides two very good examples, with two terraces of cottages close to Wharf Mill.

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At that time Wharf Hill was an industrial area. The wharf had only ceased carrying goods from Southampton in 1867; Wharf Mill itself, one of the largest mills in Hampshire, had been rebuilt in 1885 and there were other workshops in the area. The green on Wharf Hill now comprises grass, trees and seating. Back then there were a number of houses including a pub called the Dog and Duck that was demolished in the 1930s.

Belgarum believes the properties were poorly constructed and damp, hardly conducive to the good health of the residents.

Can you imagine the ruckus if someone proposed that it might be a good idea to restore housing to the area with one or two new small properties, perhaps one-bedroom or two-bedroom houses that would be ideal for retired people? Just a thought!