Bushfield is a 42-acre plot on the outskirts of Winchester (between the Sainsbury at Badger Farm Road and St Cross Road), owned by the Church Commissioners. For the last 50 years the site has been naturally rewilding and is a haven for wildlife and local people use it for walking.

At the end of October, the Church Commissioners submitted an application for a business park. The deadline for making comments about the outline planning application was at the beginning of December 2023 and on the Winchester planning website everyone can view the huge number of objections from the public, the South Downs National Park Authority, Hants Highways, Winchester Action on the Climate Crisis, Friends of the Earth, Extinction Rebellion, the Green Party and many others.

I think it is fair to say that the development is not wanted by local people and raises serious concerns. Just one example is, that the developers estimated more than 4,000 car trips, per day, on average, along Badger Farm Road.

Considering that the land is owned by the Church Commissioners, I hope that our new Bishop of Winchester will get engaged. The Diocese of Winchester does not own the land; however, they can have an opinion on whether it is the right use of land considering the Church of England goal to achieve Carbon Net Zero by 2030.

I was pleased to read in the Church Times (January 19) that our new Bishop of Winchester has climate change at the top of his agenda. He said that the struggle to combat climate change and violations of religious freedom are linked, because they both “spring from a common concern for the common good”.

Bushfield is therefore the ideal opportunity to engage with the “common good” on a very local level.

I contacted his office to ask for an appointment to discuss how the Diocese of Winchester can get involved with local groups and the community. I am still waiting for a response.


Julia Stolle,

Oliver's Battery Road South,

Olivers Battery,