CREATE more open space.
That was the word of Winchester residents at last night’s (February 24) planning meeting for the Local Plan Part II.
Held at St Barnabas Church Hall in Weeke, it heard from Nigel Green of the Strategic Planning Committee at Winchester City Council, who said the authority is keen to hear resident’s views on what should be included in the plan.
Despite overwhelming demand for more green spaces in the northern suburbs of the city, Mr Green said: "It is unlikely that there will be any new allocations of open space.
"You can’t magic it up. I don't see where the open space is going to come from."
One member of the public said: “I have four children, and there is nowhere for them to go. They end up skate-boarding in car parks and on roads. The play areas we do have are for the under 12’s, but for anybody older than that the facilities are really poor.”
Another resident said: “You are just meeting the housing requirement and not looking at the facilities we already have or improving them.”
Cllr Eileen Berry was particularly vocal about the allocations being made for maintenance of existing infrastructure, including the road surface of Stoney Lane.
Mr Green agreed that though open space is plentiful south of the city, the north is quite deficient.
Approximately 50 people attended, and topics for discussion included the Barton Farm development and the implications it will have, local employment and youth facilities.
Winchester City council is holding a public consultation on the Local Plan Part II until April 4, with a complete draft expected in January 2015.
Another public meeting was held in Oliver's Battery last night.
A drop-in session will be held at Stanmore Primary School on Thursday February 27 from 3.30-7.30pm.
There will be a drop-in session at the Discovery centre on March 1, a public meeting at westaget School, for the St Paul ward on March 4 at 7.30pm and at St Faith's Parish Hall, Back Street, St Cross on March 5 at 7.30pm for St Michael ward.