WINCHESTER City Council has committed to open talks with residents to find a solution over parking as it progresses with a scheme for six flats.

The authority is planning to build a block of eco-flats in Southbrook Cottages, in Micheldever, “to provide much needed affordable housing” in the village.

Neighbours have expressed their opposition to the development, raising concerns about the loss of privacy, overdevelopment of the site and the issue of parking.

Last week the city council held a virtual engagement session giving residents the opportunity to submit written questions and hear from those behind the proposal.

Regarding problem parking, project manager Derek Steele said: “We do recognise that it is a rural location so that means residents are likely to have at least one vehicle, we are working with colleagues within the council on a parking strategy, this will include a consultation with residents in the area to decide where we can create more parking spaces for both current and future residents.”

The consultation is likely to take place later this year, with the council looking at land it owns in the street and nearby to allocate for parking.

Andrew Palmer, head of new homes at the council, said: “We wouldn’t want to make parking worse in the area, we understand it is a bit of an issue at the moment.”

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The apartments will sit on a former garage court which has fallen into disrepair after residents were told around six years ago they needed to vacate their council-owned garages and it was expected that remedial work would be carried out, but that did not materialise.

Mr Palmer said: “It is important to stress that there is a significant housing need in this district and where we have garages which have historically proved difficult to let and that is not just because we let them fall into disrepair, these garages have for sometime not be fully utilised where as we have a massive housing problem.”

The council were keen to highlight that the garage court is not the only one earmarked for housing in the district.

Architecture PLB, which is working with the council on the scheme, said the flats have been designed with the timber clad houses imported from Sweden which sit next to the site in mind.

They also added that material will be used to prevent those using the planned balconies on top floor flats from looking in neighbouring gardens.

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