Residents of Kings Barton have written to the Secretary of State in a bid to reverse controversial plans for the diversion of Andover Road through the estate.

The diversion is due when the 2,000-home estate reaches 600 houses. 

There are approximately 500 completed.

As well as the diversion, the current Andover Road would be closed to through traffic except for bicycles and possibly buses.

In a letter to Secretary of State Michael Gove, Mike Slinn, chairman of Kings Barton Residents' Association, said: “I write to you on behalf of the Kings Barton Residents’ Association to ask you to review and reconsider an aspect of the planning permission granted for Barton Farm Major Development Area (MDA) in Winchester.

READ MORE: Plans to divert Andover Road through new estate continue to be criticised

“The development approval includes closing to traffic the section of Andover Road (B3420) adjacent to the MDA; it is this aspect of the planning permission that we are asking you to review.

“This section of Andover Road is free-flowing with a speed limit primarily of 50 mph with a short section of 40 mph. The traffic would be diverted onto Winchester Avenue, the main through road in the MDA. There are some 32 dwellings on this section of Andover Road all of which are on only the far side of the road from the MDA, and are at least 20m from the road and well shielded by trees/bushes/fences from the road.

Hampshire Chronicle: Kings Barton Residents Association; Mike Slinn (left) and Nigel Palmer

“In contrast, there are some 250 dwellings on Winchester Avenue, the majority comprising social and affordable housing, set just 12m from the road and with no shielding. The whole MDA when completed will have a total of 2,000 dwellings with some 4,500 people; all these people will rely on Winchester Avenue for access. The development's commercial and community centre is next to Winchester Avenue and the local primary school is close by and will also suffer from the traffic diversion caused by a closure of Andover Road to traffic.

SEE ALSO: Andover Road diversion through Kings Barton: 'no alternative'

“Local and national understanding of the relationship between traffic, people and places has changed dramatically in the last 11 years and we cannot imagine that such a decision would be made now by the Secretary of State. Both parish councils know that closing Andover Road to traffic will force traffic onto residential streets in their council areas to the detriment of their residents.

“No account has been taken of the further impact of traffic caused by the draft Winchester Local Plan’s redevelopment of the Sir John Moore Barracks for another 1,000 dwellings; the barracks site is on Andover Road immediately north of the MDA.

“Our technical assessment is that maintaining Andover Road open for traffic and constructing Winchester Avenue as a 20mph speed-limited road will achieve the best outcomes for residents of Kings Barton and adjoining local residential areas and for traffic currently using Andover Road.”

City council leader Martin Tod last September criticised the idea of keeping Andover Road open as well as Winchester Avenue: "Having two main roads running in parallel would be an act of insanity in terms of urban planning and traffic planning. You can't have both, that makes no sense at all."