Earlier this week I had a reason to walk the length of the Barton Farm development. During this lengthy walk I was overwhelmed by the extent and unremitting monotony of this development. It struck me allowing one housing developer to build such a large-scale development is fundamentally flawed. The result is crass monotony with the units clearly designed by the same hand using a limited palate of materials and dwelling types clearly exploiting the commercial benefit of scales of economies. The result leaves one underwhelmed by the paucity of the public realm created. I am sure in themselves the units are adequately designed, but the cumulative effect is reminiscent of a large collection of Monopoly houses.

In addition, the proposed partial closure of Andover Road and rerouting of a primary entry into the city through this estate is a massive folly that needs to be overturned otherwise it will be a lasting monument to the intransigence of the authorities involved. This obviously was first proposed by the developer as a cynical way of neutralising objections to the proposals from existing residents on Andover Road.

On a related matter this development has greatly increased the use of Park Road with its single lane railway crossing half way along. This has long been identified as severely dangerous, particularly to pedestrians who have to share this single track roadway, being approached by blind bends at both ends. Significant funds have been paid from developments on Park Road and now the massive Barton Farm development for highway improvement in the immediate vicinity, so why has no solution been proposed, such as traffic lights, for this accident in waiting. Are the authorities waiting for a fatality here before these funds are used here? 


Richard Wetherill

Retired Architect,

Park Road,