Pitt Manor given green light

A controversial planning application seeking to put over 200 houses on an area to the south-west of Winchester was given the green light on Monday 23rd January after an appeal.

Turley Associates had challenged Winchester City Council's refusal of the plan, and the scheme, which has been fought by a coalition of local councillors, the Keep Pitt Green group led by Sandie Vining, and local residents is now set to go ahead.

Pitt Manor was a local reserve site in the 2006 Local Plan and the release of the land was tested against policies in this plan and the South East Plan. The decision to allocate land at Barton Farm in the draft Core Strategy came too late to be a major argument in the appeal.

Local MP Steve Brine said: "I pay great tribute to the work put in by the Keep Pitt Green group in engaging with this inquiry so professionally as I know many of them will be bitterly disappointed at this decision.

"I think the key issues which we will now have to face, because it is we as local residents who have to live with the decision, is what will happen to peak time congestion at the top of Stanmore Lane after Pitt Manor is built given its already one of the busiest spots in the city at certain times of day?

"Also, and this is the key point for me, how are we going to handle the already critical problem of primary places in this part of Winchester? I think both will be painfully exposed in coming years."

Conservative Cllr Rob Humby, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Enforcement added: "This is a disappointing outcome but unfortunately it was not unexpected. The Council has made the best progress it can in putting in place a new Core Strategy to show where development should be directed and it did not include Pitt Manor.

"But we also have the legacy of Government policies which have still not been changed to reflect the principles of localism and we could not argue against them.

"We will now work with the applicant to ensure the final form of the development is as good as we can make it within the constraints of the Inspector's decision."