Trust Annual Report 2001

style="text-align: right;"

Report of the Council and Financial Statements at 31 March 2001

style="text-align: right;"

Hampshire County Structure Plan and The Winchester District Local Plan

 

In addition to the shorter term monitoring of planning applications and development control, the Trust must equally monitor the longer-term plans and guidelines for the future of our City.

 

The two vital documents which govern this are the Hampshire County Structure Plan, which gives outline plans based on government guidance for the whole county of Hampshire, and the Winchester District Local Plan (WDLP) which gives detailed plans for Winchester District based on the Structure Plan.

 

Work on these two documents continues on an ongoing basis. The last District Plan up to 2001 was adopted in 1998. The City Council is now working on the District Plan up to 2011, in the context of the latest Structure Plan, which is itself under review based on a recent change in government guidance!

 

The District Plan up to 2011 will not be adopted until 2006, an interval which includes setting aside the whole of 2003 for a Public inquiry.

 

If you are not totally confused by now, please also remember that the Government can move the goalposts at any time!

 

Representatives of the Trust have been monitoring the WDLP Panel meetings, and commenting or making proposals wherever appropriate. Although there are fourteen sections in the Plan, those that are of primary importance to the Trust are Design and Development Principles, Heritage, Housing, Town Centres (which includes shopping) and Transport.

 

Although each of these can be said to carry similar weight in its importance to the work of the Trust, it is housing numbers which generate the most debate, especially the issue of the Reserve Major Development Area (MDA) at "Winchester (North)". Although the likelihood of any development there before 2011 is slim, at worst it could involve developing almost the whole area west of the railway line between the junction of the Andover Road and Park Road all the way out to Three Maids Hill. At best, and especially if every opportunity is taken throughout the Winchester District radically to increase both the housing density (i.e. the number of living-units in any given area) and the proportion of affordable housing in both central Winchester and its suburbs, and in all the smaller towns and villages, this Reserve MDA would not be required at all and could be written out of the Structure Plan. However, what is most dangerous of all is the regrettable view of some District Councillors who would like to see a major expansion of Winchester, and who would like to encourage the early development of the Reserve MDA.

 

The Trust is strongly opposed to this view.

 

Antony Skinner