An outline planning application (ref:23/02507/OUT) to develop Bushfield Camp for a mixed use scheme, has been submitted to the council. 

The application proposes buildings for research and development (R&D) and uses for academia, requiring an area of internal floor space of up to 96,500 sq. metres, a hotel, ancillary uses and parking for 1,055 cars, largely in a multi-storey car park.

The cumulative impact and visual intrusion that this magnitude of development will have on a rural site is unacceptable. It will be contrary to many planning policies aimed at protecting the site of the camp and the wider landscape setting from built development.

If there is a demand for and investment available for R&D and academia development, the city centre has a number of undeveloped sites that could accommodate these uses. They are, Station Approach - Carfax and the Cattle Market in Andover Road, River Park, the site of the former police station in North Walls and the Central Area (aka Silver Hill). Their development could create a knowledge quarter similar to the grouping of laboratories and research buildings to be found in the Bloomsbury area of London. They would add vitality to the local economy by bringing business to shops, restaurants and hotels. All the sites are well served by rail, buses and park and ride.

To promote this form of development would do much to assist the regeneration of the city centre, introduce a new and appropriate form of employment for our historic city and provide a reprieve for the cherished landscape setting around the south of Winchester that is under threat by the built development proposed in this outline application.

Good town and country planning is about the judicious use of land. 

Richard Baker,
Fordington Avenue,

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