News release: 3 December 2012

By City of Winchester Trust, Winchester Action on Climate Change and Winchester Friends of the Earth

BARTON FARM: THE OPPORTUNITY

The new development planned for Barton Farm should be a development that Winchester will always be proud of and an example that other areas will follow. This was the view of a meeting “Barton Farm – the opportunity” last Saturday, 1 December 2012, convened jointly by the City of Winchester Trust, Winchester Action on Climate Change and Winchester Friends of the Earth.

As Michael Carden of the City of Winchester Trust said: “Some things are fixed by the outline planning permission, but there is still plenty of room for discussion about how we can ensure that it is an attractive and distinctive extension to Winchester. The development will be on a special site at the entrance to the City with fine mature trees and vistas. It should enhance the character of the area while integrating with the City and reflecting Winchester’s existing housing.”

The 50 people at the meeting agreed that Barton Farm should rank with the very best of developments nationally. The meeting called for a mixed development that provides quality homes for people of all ages and different levels of wealth and also contributes to the vitality and sustainability of the surrounding neighbourhoods. The housing should be compact, with friendly streets, shared space and private gardens.

The meeting also called for the development to be designed for people on foot and bicycles to get about easily and pleasurably. Internal roads could be Home Zones, safe and friendly for children and elderly people. An improved network of pedestrian and cycle routes need to link the site with neighbouring communities and with paths leading into the countryside.

The development of the site should take place in stages, so that it grows as organically as possible and knits into existing communities along Andover Road.

There was a strong call for the development to be designed and built to minimise its greenhouse gas emissions. As Professor Bob Whitmarsh, Chair of WinACC’s Science and Technology Advisory Panel, said: “These houses will be there for more than 100 years. By 2100,  it will be a lot warmer in the summer and at least as cold in the winter. So, keeping cool as well as keeping warm is vitally important for health and saving energy. This has implications not only for insulation, but means housing may require some shading. Passivhaus standard demands very highly airtight buildings with heat extraction from ventilation extractor systems. Roof direction is a no brainer which should underpin the aspect of all buildings (and not just homes). Houses need to keep strictly to the Code for Sustainable Homes and Passivhaus; non-residential buildings need to comply with BREEAM Excellent standards, and the development overall should use renewable materials such as sustainably sourced timber and recycled materials.

Jemma Barter, Winchester Friends of the Earth Co-ordinator, added: “We see renewable energy as one of the easiest ways to cut our carbon footprint. All new buildings should be designed and built to benefit from renewable sources of power, including natural daylight, passive solar heating and integrated renewable technologies.”

The Trust emphasised that these ideas are consistent with the Local Development Framework and Local Plan, Policy WT2 Strategic Housing Allocation - Barton Farm, as well as Policy CP13 - High Quality Design and Policy CP14 - The Effective use of Land.

For more details of the discussions of the meeting see the attached document.

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Attachments