A CONSTRUCTION compound in Winchester is being decommissioned and turned back into farmland.

The site, on Badger Farm Road, was set up two years ago by Balfour Beatty while the company carried out work on the central barrier scheme, and the now cancelled plan to convert the M3 into a smart motorway

However, the company is now demobilising the site, as it is no longer required with office buildings and outbuildings being removed.

Hampshire Chronicle: The decommissioned siteThe decommissioned site (Image: Newsquest)

A Balfour Beatty spokesperson confirmed to the Chronicle that the land is being converted back into farmland.

Hampshire County Councillor Jan Warwick welcomed this news.

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She said: “I think a lot of residents were concerned that somehow this land was going to be turned housing or developed someway and it’s not, it was very much offered as that fixed term compound.

“I think Hampshire (County Council) had thought that maybe it would be used for the Junction 9 works, which are going to start quite soon I think, but actually National Highways need a compound nearer to Junction 9 and that is too far away.

“As far as I understand it is going back to farmland, which is great news, it is really positive. Most of us weren’t troubled by the (Heavy Goods Vehicles), but it was quite brightly lit at night – if you drove past it in the hours of darkness it was lit up very brightly, and that is always a concern in that area where we want to preserve our darker skies.”

A National Highways spokesperson said: “The compound is being demobilised and is in the final stages of demobilisation at present.  All office buildings and outbuildings have been removed from the site and the land is being returned to original condition.

“The compound is being demobilised as the scheme is completed and therefore no longer required. The M3 J9 scheme are due to establish their own compound that is specific to that project.

Hampshire Chronicle: The site is being converted back into farmlandThe site is being converted back into farmland (Image: Newsquest)

Currently, the M3 Junction 9 improvement scheme team is awaiting the decision on the DCO, expected this month.

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The M3 Junction 9 improvement scheme will see National Highways modify the junction between the M3 and A34 so it has free-flowing links in both directions.

Proposals would see the junction widened and two new bridges built on the gyratory, allowing the M3 to increase from 3 lanes to 4 as it passes through the junction. National Highways will also extend the southbound slip onto the M3 so traffic has more time to join the motorway and improve the safety of the junction with signs and gantries.

The lead contractor for the scheme is Volker Fitzpatrick.

More information about the scheme can be found on the National Highways M3 Improvement Scheme website.