A WINCHESTER climate charity is calling for a developer to reduce the emissions that could be produced by a major scheme.

Winchester Action on the Climate Crisis (WinACC) said proposals for Bushfield Camp would cause a massive increase in traffic on local roads.

The action group says the plans for a business park will lead to more than 4,500 extra vehicle movements every day.

At the end of October, the Church Commissioners submitted an application for a business park at the redundant base, unused since the late 1970s.

The scheme also includes 'academic accommodation' with 525 beds, a 100-bed hotel, retail, 1,055-space parking, sport and community hub and landscaping. 

More than half would be retained as chalk downland open space.

READ MORE: Bushfield Camp: Over 40 objections to major development

A statement from WinACC said: “Winchester City Council declared a climate emergency, and vowed to tackle harmful greenhouse gas emissions from transport as part of the Winchester City Council Neutrality Action Plan. Cutting emissions from transport is also part of the government’s Net Zero Development Plan.

Hampshire Chronicle: Bushfield Camp CGI

“With 4,542 being the average number of additional car journeys per day, some days could see far higher, as many as 6,000 extra trips mid-week. This part of Winchester already regularly sees traffic jams. This traffic would also raise air pollution levels within the area along with a dramatic increase in greenhouse gas emissions. 

“WinACC estimates that in reality an additional 2,000 parking spaces on top of the 1,050 spaces planned would be needed to park the cars and stop parking infringing on other areas of Winchester such as Badger Farm.

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“WinACC would like this outline planning application to be immediately amended to address the emissions produced by the anticipated number of car journeys to the development, so that they are as close to zero as possible. If outline permission is granted then the developers will not have to make any future changes to transport arrangements.

“We want to see inspiring developments that future generations will be proud to have in their city. WinACC is calling for a full and open discussion before any approval is given.”

Joanna Loxton, head of strategic land for the Church Commissioners for England, said: “We’ve worked with Hampshire County Council, National Highways and Winchester City Council to robustly test the impact of our proposals on the highway network. This has concluded that, in conjunction with highway improvements proposed to deliver benefits for our development and the local community, the proposals for Bushfield will not be generating a severe highways impact.

"Bushfield will make it easier for people to walk and cycle and choose alternative modes of transport to private cars. It will create new walking and cycling routes, improve connections to public transport, and introduce a mobility hub, and tie in with the emerging network of city-wide routes as Winchester City Council implements its sustainable movement strategy and mobility hub at the railway station.

"We will be continuing to engage with key stakeholders as the proposals progress, including the WinACC. We look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders to ensure Bushfield is delivered as a best-in-class mixed use knowledge park with inclusivity, connectivity and vibrancy at the heart.”

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