Fears of 100 unplanned homes in town because council feels “threatened” by developers

Houses under construction

A Parish Council says a larger council wants to build 100 more homes than agreed because it “feels threatened” by potential challenges from developers.

Wickham Parish Council says it had already earmarked a 200-home site at Knowle as Wickham’s contribution to Winchester City Council’s new homes quota but now the bigger council says it wants another space identified for a further 100 homes.

Wickham Parish Council said it was dismayed that Winchester City Council (WCC) wants to change its mind and “listen to developers instead of the residents.”

It said: “The Parish Council has now been given short notice to decide where in Wickham an extra 100 homes can be sited and told if not identified, then the WCC will select instead!

“It is asking the Parish Council to provide a revised response to the emerging Local Plan and nominate one or more of WCC suggested sites capable of delivering 90-100 dwellings in Wickham that can be tested as potential inclusion in the emerging Local Plan.

“WCC indicates that when preparing a Local Plan the Council has to be mindful of relevant legislation and national planning policy and guidance. This is because the Local Plan will be the subject of an examination held by a Planning Inspector who will consider the planning merits and decide if the Plan can be found “sound”.

“It seems that the WCC apparently feels threatened that it will be criticised and have its Plan rejected if challenged by a developer or someone else because Wickham had been excluded.”

Winchester City Council has been asked to comment.