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Introduction

Background

In 2016 the MOD embarked on the single biggest estates change programme within Defence. They are investing £5.1Bn in a better structured, modern and more sustainable estate to support military capability and improve security and resilience.

This is aligned with the future capability requirements and force structures set out in Future Soldier which plans for a more agile Army. Relocating the current users of Sir John Moore Barracks to new facilities is part of an ambitious portfolio of interdependent programmes, construction activity unit and personnel moves, and land releases.

As part of the Defence Estate Optimisation (DEO) Portfolio, the MOD is relocating the current users of Sir John Moore Barracks to new facilities.

The training output from Sir John Moore Barracks is being re-provisioned at Alexander Barracks, Pirbright, with the development of the Army’s future Soldier Academy, combining all basic training provision into this new single academy. It enables greater Basic Training Adaptation and creates a world-class Centre of Excellence for all Regular Army noncombat Basic training.

Existing views from the site

Winchester City Council Local plan

Allocated for development

The site is proposed to be allocated within Winchester City Council’s Draft Local Plan (Policy W2) to deliver significant residential led development of between 750-1,000 new homes.

The draft allocation includes the following requirements:

  • Deliver a high-quality design, including the delivery of green spaces, high standards of architectural design, and innovative, sustainable new buildings;
  • Deliver a scheme which relates to the whole of the allocated site or does not prejudice the remainder of the site, avoiding piecemeal development;
  • Provide necessary supporting infrastructure, and create neighbourhood centres with supporting uses (noting that these should be proportionate to any proposed redevelopment and dependent on identified need);
  • Investigates the potential to reuse/repurpose existing buildings and prioritises the use of previously developed land;
  • Considers the need for education on or off-site, and provides suitable sustainable travel links;
  • Provides access off Andover Road and maximises opportunities for sustainable travel;
  • Retain the existing access at Chestnut Avenue/Kennel Lane to be used for pedestrian, cyclist and potential emergency access purposes;
  • Mitigate flooding impacts, deliver SuDS which include multi-functional green/blue links which increase biodiversity on the site and avoid impacts on the SINC;
  • Record and retain features of heritage significance, and provide a heritage trail which celebrates the sites military history;
  • Incorporate and include public realm to create a sense of place;
  • Retain and open the existing leisure centre for public use, subject to an assessment of its viability;
  • Include a Park and Ride of circa 850 spaces.

Previous engagement

The consultation so far

A previous consultation exercise took place between November 2020 and January 2021. As a result of ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and associated social distancing restrictions, this initial consultation was undertaken virtually and comprised the following elements:

Following this engagement exercise, Winchester City Council announced an extension to the Local Plan Development Scheme timetable, which changed the Reg 18 Local Plan consultation from Spring 2021 to Summer 2022, with adoption of its new Local Plan in 2024. At the same time, the proposed date for the closure Sir John Moore Barracks also shifted from 2024 to 2026, in line with strategic decisions made by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Since 2021, the DIO has spent time working closely with its appointed specialist consultant team undertaking further technical work and reviewing the consultation feedback received, seeking to embed this in early ideas for the masterplan wherever possible.

Existing footpath and built form on site

Feedback

What did the previous consultation tell us?

Since 2021, we have been reflecting on the feedback received and working to address some of the most common themes raised:

Existing green space

Feedback was received concerning green spaces on-site, including queries whether there was a need to develop green spaces to the north rather than concentrate development on previously developed parts.

The site is bordered by extensive areas of woodland, including the entire eastern edge along Andover Road and Harestock Road; to the northwest adjacent to Littleton Recreation Ground & rear of Pitter Close; and, to a more limited extent along Kennel Lane to the southern edge. In addition, there are several larger mature parkland trees scatted through the central areas.

The previous consultation identified that the approach to development in existing green areas along the western boundary of the site needs to be carefully considered to minimise impacts on Littleton along the Littleton edge; and visual intrusions from the viewpoint on Littleton Recreation Ground sports pitches. Also, in addition, the approach to development along the southern extent of the site to Kennel Lane needs to be sensitively handled.

Winchester City Council has proposed a draft policy allocation for the site in the new Local Plan. We will now review where development should go on-site. The public and key stakeholders will be involved in this process as it progresses.

The Winchester Movement Strategy, a joint initiative between Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council requires a Park and Ride to be delivered on the site. This is to be located north of the main built-up area of the existing barracks. The location, connections and supporting infrastructure are an essential prerequisite to the formation of the masterplan and will need to be taken into consideration at the formative stage of the masterplanning process.

The evidence base-led discussions with Winchester City Council are the starting point for a review of where development should go on-site to achieve policy compliant scheme.

We will continue to work with the local community through the forthcoming consultation events, community workshops and wider consultation and engagement programme to shape the masterplan for the site.

Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council will engage alongside this public consultation process so that we arrive at a policy compliant outcome.

Housing need

Feedback received questioned whether there is a need for further housing locally.

Through its draft Local Plan process, Winchester City Council has objectively assessed the housing need and considered the options for meeting that need.

As set out within the Local Plan, there is a demonstrable need to deliver a range of new homes for Winchester within sustainable and accessible locations.

The site is proposed to be allocated within Winchester City Council’s Draft Local Plan (Policy W2) to deliver significant residential led development of between 750-1,000 new homes.

As part of our forthcoming consultation events, community workshops and wider consultation and engagement programme, we will continue to work with the local community to discuss the various housing typologies, such as lifetime homes, social housing, private housing and later living components that will combine to make the new vibrant community.

The DIO remains committed to delivering a scheme that provide a policy compliant level of Affordable Housing.

Vehicular access onto Kennel Lane

Several members of the local community raised concerns relating to potential new vehicular access on to Kennel Lane, which was largely opposed.

Following feedback received, it was agreed with both the local highways authority, Hampshire County Council, and the local planning authority, Winchester City Council, that a secondary access on Kennel Lane will not be required. This direction is now specifically referenced in the Draft Local Plan policy for the site allocation.

Highways and traffic mitigation

Some concerns were raised through the feedback that additional traffic generated by the development would impact on surrounding communities and highway capacity.

Highway capacity is not seen as a constraint to development on the site. Primary vehicular movements will all be via access on Andover Road, and updated traffic surveys were undertaken in early 2023.

We are committed to encouraging active and sustainable travel options throughout the site, such as cycling, walking, public transport options, aiming to mitigate our impact on the wider area. Over the coming months, we will continue to work with the local community through the forthcoming consultation events, community workshops and wider consultation and engagement programme to shape how these come forward.

Fully updated baseline traffic survey information is being supplied to the local highway authority, Hampshire County Council, in Winter 2023. This baseline will inform the highways design during the masterplan development. HCC’s requirements will be incorporated into the final masterplan, which we will be consulting on in Summer 2024 as part of the fourth stage of engagement events.

Leisure provision and existing sporting facilities

We received a number of comments in relation to leisure provision on the site.

We remain committed to exploring options to retain the existing sports/training facilities on site and how these can best be integrated into the future masterplan and deliver a viable leisure facility.

We look forward to progressing this further with the community through our forthcoming consultation events, community workshops and wider consultation programme, as the masterplan matures.

Winchester Park and Ride car park

Some of the comments received questioned whether a Park and Ride is needed.

The need for a Park and Ride to the north of Winchester is evidenced within the Council’s Joint Movement Strategy. The Sir John Moore site provides an opportunity to meet this need.

Given the usage rates of existing Park and Ride’s to the south and west of the City, some of the feedback received questioned the required size of any Park and Ride. At this time, we are continuing to work on the basis of a requirement for an 850-space facility as advised by Hampshire County Council/Winchester City Council.

The DIO remains in dialogue with Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council, and will work towards the commercial arrangements for design and development of the facility. This will, during the design process, confirm size and capacity, and any phasing of the facility’s delivery.

As part of the forthcoming consultation events, community workshops and wider consultation and engagement programme, we will continue to work with the local community to discuss options for the location and size of the facility in shaping the masterplan.

Type and scale of commercial use

As part of the previous consultation, queries were raised over the type and scale of commercial uses within the scheme.

In addition to discussions undertaken to date with local residents, Winchester City Council, Hampshire County Council and The M3 Local Enterprise Partnership to understand potential commercial uses within the scheme, we have also undertaken commercial demand analysis. This demonstrated potential for locally-scaled non-residential floorspace to be delivered.

From a market and placemaking perspective, there are clear opportunities that should be tested further with occupiers to understand the scale and nature of the potential, driven largely by the ability to serve local residents and create an attractive place to live. While more detailed market testing would traditionally form part of the development soft market testing, we are considering opportunities for:

  • Local co-working/shared workspace
  • Convenience Retail
  • A small / mid-sized food store
  • Café
  • Pub/restaurant
  • Low / mid-range hotel (potentially linked to the pub)
  • Gym – subject to future of existing leisure centre retention

We look forward to exploring such opportunities in more as part of the forthcoming consultation events, community workshops and wider consultation and engagement programme.

Impact on local infrastructure

Some concerns were raised regarding potential pressure on existing local infrastructure.

Discussions and studies undertaken with both the City and County Council have identified that any potential pressures on local infrastructure can be mitigated.

Consultations with Hampshire County Council have indicated that, based on birthrate projections, the existing primary schools will have sufficient pupil number capacity to accommodate any additional demand from new homes on the site. Similarly, should any additional secondary school places be required, this will be accommodated through the expansion of existing schools.

While consultations have yet to take place with GP and dental practices, we are committed to funding on or off-site provision of these services as required by the commissioning authority responsible for delivering them.

The provision of community space on site, such as community halls and cafés, remains a key part of the placemaking process.

We look forward to continuing to discuss both infrastructure provision both on site and across the wider area as part of the forthcoming consultation events, community workshops and wider consultation and engagement programme, as the masterplan matures.

Flood risk

As part of the previous consultation, concerns were raised regarding flood risk on site.

Robust flood risk assessments have been undertaken and discussed with Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council, concluding that there are no insurmountable flood risk issues on site. The site sits on a flow route and this will be respected. Parts of the site are at risk of flooding from surface water and groundwater flooding. Residential and commercial development will be situated outside of these areas. Any development within or traversing the flood zone will need to be fully designed to operate during a flood event and its downstream (off-site) impacts understood (modelled) and mitigated in the final design.

A constraints plan has been produced based upon updated flood mapping produced for the site flood risk assessment, available to view under the ‘Flood risk’ section of the Context page. That plan informs the area that residential and commercial development will be situated outside of, in preparation of the masterplan.

Following development of the masterplan concepts through community workshops and Stage 3 consultation, the drainage strategy will be finalised on an iterative basis for the evolving scheme. At Stage 4, we will consult on the drainage strategy and updated flood risk assessment for the pre-application masterplan scheme.

Have your say

Ways you can give your ideas

Over the coming months, we will be undertaking a comprehensive and transparent four stage consultation programme, reviewing all feedback received throughout, and where possible, incorporating this into the final proposals prior to submitting an application to Winchester City Council.

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