Micheldever new town on list of potential development sites published by City Council – update from the Dever Society
The proposal for a new town at Micheldever is on a list of over 240 sites proposed by landowners and developers as available for housing and employment within the Winchester District. Officially published by Winchester City Council on 3rd December and known as the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA), the list will feed into the review of the Local Plan currently being carried out by the City Council.
The inclusion on the SHELAA list of the 6,000 home new town at Micheldever by landowners the Magnier family and their developer the O’Flynn Group (see above map left) was leaked back in the summer 2018. The sheer number of homes dwarfs those on the other submitted sites, and the new town proposal really does stick out like a sore thumb.
Other sites in our area
The Magnier family/O’Flynn partnership has also submitted a proposal for 87 homes on fields the Magnier family owns next to the church in Micheldever (see above map right). It is only too clear that the hope of major housing development was the main reason behind their purchase of the Sutton Scotney estate last year. Sites in Sutton Scotney, Wonston and South Wonston totalling about 450 dwellings have also been put forward by other landowners and developers.
At this stage the submitted sites are speculative, and if you add up all the housing that could be built on the sites it comes to over 41,000 dwellings. As the City Council says, only a fraction of these will be needed over the 25-year period of the new Local Plan, but the list shows that there are plenty of options available for smaller scale developments. The use of smaller sites is likely to be a far more appropriate way to satisfy the local needs for new homes in our communities than 6,000 plus homes at Micheldever.
What are the next steps?
The first thing the City Council will do as part of the Local Plan Review is to establish how many new homes will be required in the whole of Winchester District. Only then will they work with Parish Councils and other stakeholders to decide which sites are the most appropriate to develop. However, the Magniers/O’Flynn Group are unlikely to sit back and wait for this to happen. They have made it clear to us that they will be promoting the new town throughout the Local Plan process and we are only too aware that once again there is a long battle ahead of us.
Can you help?
We are looking for people to help us organise events, fundraise and spread the word. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved. You can also help by spreading the word and asking people to follow our Facebook page www.facebook.com/notomicheldevernewtown or sign up to our mailing list at www.deversociety.org