Public open space at a major housing scheme on the outskirts of Winchester has been transferred to a parish council and the city council.

Winchester City Council's Cabinet agreed to transfer the land within the Kings Barton estate at its meeting on Tuesday July 18.

Most of the public open space has switched to Headbourne Worthy Parish Council. A small piece of land in the south-west falls into the St Barnabas ward, so has been handed over to the city council.

One exception is the Barton Meadows nature reserve, which will be maintained by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Therefore it will be transferred to the city council.

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In the committee's report, it said: “The open space created as part of the Kings Barton development (and the subject of this transfer) comprises areas of grassland, swales and detention basins, shrubs and a number of established and newly planted trees which will remain and be protected under the management arrangements.

“The proposals for management and maintenance of open space at Kings Barton have been developed through ongoing dialogue with Headbourne Worthy Parish Council. The parish council resolved to agree to these proposals at its meeting on May 22.

“The land to the east of the railway line falls outside of the boundary of the Kings Barton development site and has been used to create a nature reserve known as Barton Meadows, which enabled Cala Homes to mitigate the environmental impact of its development. This nature reserve is being managed by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust due to the specialist nature of the management required, and will eventually be transferred to the city council, so is not included within the land that will transfer to Headbourne Worthy Parish Council. 

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“When the nature reserve was established it was agreed with Cala Homes that the cost of establishing the site would be reimbursed through an equivalent reduction in the commuted sum payable for future maintenance of the public open space at Kings Barton. This agreement was confirmed by an exchange of letters in 2014 and the cost has subsequently been confirmed as £75k.”

Cllr Jackie Porter said: “I welcome Headbourne Worthy Parish Council's assertive stance on this - taking on such a big challenge. I hope we can support them properly. This is the right time to be handing over the land.”

Cabinet members agreed to the transfer.