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Civic chiefs revise Stanmore scheme
REVISED plans for 150 new homes on a Winchester council estate over the next decade have been unveiled by city leaders.
The aim is to revamp Stanmore, which is among the third poorest areas in the country, provide more family homes and better community facilities, including possibly a health centre.
But proposals to turn parts of Somers Close and Cromwell Road recreation ground into housing and knock down some existing properties could spark further controversy.
And the future of city-council owned derelict New Queen’s Head pub in Stanmore Lane remains uncertain. Central to the “masterplan” was building a new community centre on the cleared pub site or extending the Carroll Centre in Somers Close.
People were asked for their views last March. One option was moving the Carroll Centre, 8th Winchester Scout Hut and Stanmore Community Association hall to a modern building on the pub site.
But trustees at the Carroll Centre have said they don’t want to move which leaves the council with the problem of what to do with the pub it bought for nearly £1m.
Planning permission for a change of use to housing could prove a challenge. Bargate Homes has twice been refused permission to build homes and a convenience store there.
As revealed by the Hampshire Chronicle earlier this year, city council consultants had initially suggested Stanmore had potential for 413 new houses and flats over the next decade.
But proposals to build 200 houses and flats in tree-lined Wavell Way have now been dropped after the public consultation.
The authority is pushing ahead with building 35 homes in The Valley at Wilberforce Close, a project widely supported by locals. Seven garage blocks could also be turned into 25 mews homes.
Controversial proposals to build on parts of two recreation grounds and community gardens behind Selborne Place and Wykeham Place are still in the masterplan despite protests from locals.
The local authority plans to re-house council tenants if their homes are demolished and offer financial compensation.
Sites earmarked for new homes are now Somers Close Recreation Ground/ New Queens Head (between 30 and 40), Cromwell Road Recreation Ground (20, could be more), seven garage blocks (25), Eversley Place/vicarage garden (20) and community gardens behind Selborne Place and Wykeham Place (up to 33).
Of these, the Somers Close and Wilberforce Close are high priority.
No final decisions have yet been taken. Cabinet still has to approve a detailed action plan this autumn after sites are surveyed and other feasibility work done.
Other proposals include a new health centre and youth space in a new or extended Carroll Centre, a multi-use games area (tennis, basketball, football and volleyball) in Somers Close recreation ground or Romsey Road/ Battery Hill junction and changing rooms at Cromwell Road recreation ground.
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