Back in January this year, when the Bushfield development plans first came to light, it was a relatively modest affair. 

Wholly inappropriate, because essentially nothing should be built on such an important and sensitive site, but nevertheless a minnow compared to the leviathan now proposed. 

Employment numbers expanded rapidly - I think at first they were 1,000, then 2,500, and now stand at 3,369 - with parking for 1,055 cars. 

The rest presumably will come by bike, or public transport. The park and ride site is across a dual carriageway. Nowhere does it say where these workers will live. Winchester district's unemployment rate, at the 2021 census, was 2.3 per cent. This is not some exercise to level up an economically deprived area with high unemployment figures.

This is, as Winchester City Council makes clear, an outline application, with no actual details of what anything will look like. So any pretty images, of something more like a fully fledged small town, are entirely make-believe. This is a speculative development and as such, on this site, should not be given the time of day.

Compare, then, the reaction to a small office development near Otterbourne, as reported on page 7 of this paper on November 23.

A planning officer is quoted as saying “This is unchecked office development. It sets a strong precedent. We can’t expose ourselves to speculative new builds.” The councillors duly rejected it unanimously.

Elsewhere in the same paper (p. 10), Cllr Learney is quoted as saying, re. the building of council housing - far more necessary, you might think, than building a speculative ‘knowledge campus’ -  that “We should be including references to the nature emergency and residents having access to nature and green space.”

How any of that can be squared with building on Bushfield defeats me.

Judith Martin,
Romsey Road,

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