Winchester MP Steve Brine gave his reaction today (Thursday 29 Sept) to the refusal of permission for houses on Barton Farm.
Secretary of State Eric Pickles has decided to uphold Winchester City Council's decision from earlier this year and refuse CALA Homes permission to build on the controversial Andover Road site, handing the decision back to democratically elected councillors in Winchester.
Steve said; "This is a victory for common sense and the thousands of people (led by the brilliant Save Barton Farm Group) who have consistently said no to development on this site. I hope CALA will respect this decision and accept it with good grace.
"I have always maintained we would have the right to save Barton Farm if we removed those central housing targets and judged each application on its sustainability.
"I think this is the right decision in so many respects. Ultimately it's about the sort of place we want Winchester to be and a judgement call as to when the city has extended far enough into its famous landscape setting. Local people are best placed to make that judgement call and we are clear this is not a sustainable development in the best interests of Winchester.
"But we shouldn't for one moment delude ourselves that Winchester's housing problems have gone away. The Barton Farm decision will have serious implications for many other parts of Winchester and councillors, as well as the rest of us, should now be prepared to face some difficult decisions as the city council grapples with the completion of its Local Plan and where to build much-needed new homes.
Links to the full decision papers and the Inspector's report are posted on www.stevebrine.com/bartonfarm
More information ...
See the full history on Steve Brine's Barton Farm page - www.stevebrine.com/bartonfarm
Save Barton Farm Group – www.savebartonfarm.org