A FORMER senior city councillor is again calling on civic chiefs to develop a '21st century council estate'.

Ian Tait, now a planning consultant, has been pressing the city council to look at a modern version of Stanmore, which was one of the first purpose-built estates in the country 100 years ago.

Mr Tait, former portfolio holder for new homes delivery, renewed calls for the development at a Winchester City Council cabinet housing meeting on Tuesday, November 14. 

In response to the city council's latest housing strategy, he said: “I have to question if this gets to the bottom of the chronic problem of affordable housing stock. For many years I have argued that we should be looking for enough land to build a 21st century council estate. 

READ MORE: Winchester council estate Stanmore marks 100 years since royal launch

“As the council is the planning authority, it can grant itself planning permission. So it could potentially buy farmland fit for housing. This was the approach taken when the majority of the council's housing schemes were brought forward. Stanmore, Weeke and Highcliffe, and that's just mentioning the Winchester-based areas. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Ian Tait

“I must repeat again my strong suggestion that the council buys enough land to build a brand new council estate. Social housing tends to be built at a far higher density than open market housing, therefore is less land-hungry. Barton Farm, 93 hectares, had a recommendation of 20-30 dwellings per hectare yet they only delivered 2,000 homes. They could have delivered almost 5,000 homes on that site. Winchester is a huge district, there is land to be built on. 

“There is a site out there for a big housing estate.”

Cllr Chris Westwood, cabinet member for housing, said: “You are preaching to the converted. The main issue is that we have the housing earmarked for development through the local plan. Building at the moment is very expensive.”

Cllr Kelise Learney said: “I would love to be able to do what Mr Tait is suggesting, but we need to turn to the basic economics of this. That puts us in a difficult position.”

This came as the committee approved the housing strategy, which covers 2023 to 2028. The strategy covers a range of housing, including 659 affordable homes. 

Cllr Learney said: “We should be including references to the nature emergency and residents having access to nature and green space.”