MAJOR development plans for a former army base on the outskirts of Winchester have sparked more than 800 objections. 

The proposal for Bushfield Camp has proved controversial with 820 separate objections submitted by Tuesday, December 12. 

The scheme proposes a business park, academic accommodation with 525 beds, a 100-bed hotel and 1,055 parking spaces in a multi-storey car park. 

The site is earmarked for a business park in the Local Plan. More than half the site would be retained as chalk downland open space.

Public comments finished on Thursday, December 7, with 13 supporters included. 

A petition against the scheme, set up by the Badger Farm and Oliver's Battery Residents Community Association had 1,758 signatures by Wednesday, December 13.

A wide range of groups have objected, including: Friends of the Earth, WinACC, the City of Winchester Trust, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Cycle Winchester and Extinction Rebellion. 

READ MORE: Bushfield Camp: More than 350 objections to major development scheme

Oliver's Battery and Badger Farm ward councillor Brian Laming has submitted an objection despite his position on the planning committee. Cllr Laming told the Chronicle that he would not sit on the committee when it's discussed and would speak in objection. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Bushfield Camp CGI

He said: “The Local Plan allocation for this site is for employment only. The developer requires student accommodation: this was stated at consultations to comprise 300 single rooms and now, at application stage, the proposal is for 525 rooms. Needless to say, this is a large increase on a site designated for employment only and thus failing the policy.

“The developer has failed to show any benefit, if at all, for the city and the residents of Winchester. In fact, the development will detract considerably from the quality of life in the city.

“Considerations of nature, the environment, the ecology and the biodiversity of this valuable site have been disregarded.”

Supporter Jamie Hankins, of Aberdeen Road, Southampton, said: “I've taken some time to look at some pictures of the site at present, and it appears to be a bit of an eyesore and in desperate need of redevelopment. I've had a look at some of the plans for the area, and they seem adequate, although more focus on housing would be my preference. It does seem like the plans include student accommodation, which there is growing demand for.

SEE ALSO: Bushfield Camp: Over 40 objections to major development

Hampshire Chronicle: Bushfield Camp CGI

“I've also reviewed some of the objections, but the most common theme seems to be based on the idea that this land shouldn't be redeveloped at all, which doesn't seem sensible. General all-purpose complaints about development of any kind does not provide a positive or sustainable for any city.”

A spokesman for the development partnership said: “The plans for Bushfield represent a unique opportunity to create a best-in-class knowledge park in the heart of Winchester. In addition to attracting major organisations looking for new headquarters across life science, media and health sectors, the plans will also open up the disused army camp for all to enjoy. 

“Aside from the economic boost, a significant added benefit will be our commitment to ensure 60 acres of the currently inaccessible land will be given in perpetuity for use as new publicly accessible and biodiverse green space for the city.

“Launched this week, our new website for Bushfield has a detailed FAQ section which addresses some of the recent comments raised and throughout our extensive engagement process. We will continue to work closely with the council to address these views and look forward to launching an engagement process on the legacy land in the new year. Through this, we will seek to further understand the community needs and aspirations for this space and how the development can best address the council’s declared nature and climate emergencies whilst delivering much needed economic growth and jobs.”

For more details, visit