Early public reaction shows a split of opinion over major plans for the redevelopment of a former army base.

The Bushfield Camp scheme includes a business park, 'academic accommodation', a hotel, retail, parking, sport and community hub, landscaping and public realm works. More than half would be retained as open space.

An outline planning application was submitted by the Church Commissioners on Friday, October 27.

Since then, members of the public have been submitting their views to Winchester City Council.

By Tuesday, November 7, three objections had been sent, with one supporting comment. 

Daniel Pilch, of Court Road, Winchester, said: “Overall the plan looks very positive and makes good use of land that is not currently in use. Sustainability seems to be at the heart of the development and in my opinion would be a positive for Winchester.

READ MORE: Bushfield Camp: Plan submitted to Winchester City Council

“We need more development that is not just residential. This proposal to me looks to be a positive mixed use for the land. I would like to see uses for entrepreneurs, a co-working space for example and an up market leisure club that Winchester sorely needs.”

Cllr Brian Laming told the Chronicle: "The application for the development of the Bushfield site is a massive development and will change this part of the city. It is vital that everyone has a chance to read and digest the planning application. It is important that the parish councils have time to consult and discuss this development with their residents.

"To that end I have asked that the time for the consultations to be placed on the planning portal is extended and that the matter is duly considered by a special planning committee meeting where more time can be allocated for both the supporters and objectors to raise any issues. It must be remembered that this application has generated great interest and a petition of over 1,500 names has been made."

Hampshire Chronicle: Bushfield Camp CGI

Cllr Jan Warwick said: “This is a significant planning application that will impact the community of Badger Farm, Oliver's Battery, Compton and Shawford, the biodiversity, roads, infrastructure and economy of the Winchester district. 

“I understand Bushfield Camp has been allocated in the local plan for many years as employment opportunity site but would request that as it has been left relatively untouched for more than 40 years, and is a large, complex application more detailed impact assessment is required before permission is granted. 

“I would request an extension of the time period of consultation is extended beyond the end of this month (November) and that the application is called to a full all day hearing of the city council planning committee on the grounds of the size, complexity and impact of the application after the Christmas holiday season. Can we allow more time for speakers and more speakers representing their community views than for smaller applications?”

SEE ALSO: Bushfield Camp: Petition against plans gets almost 1,500 signatures

Isabel Adams, of Whiteshute Lane, said: “This will make Winchester far too busy for the amount of roads that there are. This will have an impact on the popularity of Winchester in the future.”

Joanna Loxton, head of strategic land at the Church Commissioners for England, said: “Bushfield will provide critical employment led space which will serve Winchester and Hampshire’s growing business economy while adding to the diversity of Winchester’s employment offer. 

“We expect this purpose-built space will not only reduce the need for people to migrate to other locations, but will actively pull into its orbit scale-ups and specialist businesses that have been considering alternative locations.” 

Ben Rodgers, head of regeneration for Legal & General’s real assets division, said: “Attention is deservedly given to the well-established spheres of life science, innovation and media in the UK. It is important however to recognise the importance of supply chains and specialist sub-sectors that feed creative solutions into them, as they are an essential part of the research and development process.

“The Church Commissioners for England, Legal & General and Gisborne have worked alongside Winchester City Council to ensure Bushfield delivers both economically and environmentally, in support of the council’s declared nature and climate emergency policies.  

“With this in mind, we have worked closely with the council throughout the landscape-led masterplan and will continue to do so in support of the recently declared nature emergency. We are committed to presenting a masterplan and application process which delivers for the city, its residents and council.” 

Should the scheme be permitted, work will start next year and last for around 11 years. 

Bushfield Camp was used by the Army during the Second World War. The camp was closed in the 1970s.

To view the application online, search 23/02507/OUT on Winchester City Council's planning portal.