City of Winchester Trust
  • kingalf
  • cathedral
  • roundtable
  • westgate
  • guildhall
  • wolsey
  • stcross
  • library

WCC District Coach Tour 5th October 2018

This was a tour of 5 developments of different kinds two housing sites, one council flats, one student accommodation and finally the development by Winchester College at Kingsgate.

1. The Brooks, Clewers Lane, Waltham Chase

Apparently the settlement boundary had to be extended to open up this site. Since the boundary extension includes more than this land, there will be more developments coming. This one has 30 traditionally styled dwellings with a pedestrian link through to a recreation ground which might alleviate the lack of space in the development itself. The actual development is distinctly cramped with rather minimal car parking and very small gardens. The houses must be quite small inside as there are already two planning applications, one for a rear extension and another for a garden room. Although the style is traditional the layout is not and the landscaping is not as approved so it should be redone; there should be a tree and grass where there are sapling shrubs and bark.

The Brooks, Waltham Chase

TheBrooks, Waltham Chase2

2. Torbay Farm, Upham

Said previously to have been the site of some laboratories. It was an exception site which required a referendum before it could be allowed to go ahead. This was a much less dense development which included open space and a children's playground. There were 19 houses of which 8 were deemed affordable, the rest were really quite large with sizeable gardens and many with double garages. It was a Bargate development with houses built in traditional but varied styles. The quite long driveway has been designed for shared use by being curved, narrow for two way cars and no pavements but it still might need some extra speed bumps judging by the speed at which we saw cars go down it. One thing residents remarked on was distance to the shops. Token solar panels had been installed (the one pictured is on a NNW facing roof, if the plan is correct).

Torbay Farm, Upham

Torbay Farm, Upham2

3. Mitford Road, Alresford

This was a WCC project on a site in a council estate that was previously occupied by 16 garages. The development has 6 affordable rental flats plus 2 shared ownership houses. In principal this represents a good use of the site and probably an improvement over what was there before, but it might have been better executed. The front elevation was uninspiring to say the least and further marred by some very visible gas pipes running up the exterior. The proposed landscaping to the front (grass plus trees) had not worked because of the dry weather. The rear was slightly better looking but one felt that the limited parking area might have been better used as a space for drying clothes (otherwise absent) with car parking to the front. The two houses looked much better and thanks to the planting efforts of one of the occupants beginning to be quite attractive. (Solar panels good bank facing SW).

Mitford Road, Alresford

Mitford Road, Alresford2

4. Student Accommodation (Cathedral Point), Andover Road, Winchester

This has been built on the site of the old Hunt's Food warehouse and has been built out to the very edges of that site. It provides 257 units and has 24 hour supervision on site, can be seen from the conservation area (which limited its height at the planning stage) and was required, through a condition, to provide improvement of that part of the pedestrian link to the Station that belongs to the property. We were shown around the interior and given access to the small enclosed courtyards that were deemed important at the planning stage; these seem to work quite well and do provide two relatively quiet secluded spaces with grass and seating. This is a commercial project and was not supported by the University of Wichester. We were told that much of the demand comes from overseas students many of whom attend the University of Southampton either at the Art School in Winchester or commuting to Southampton. We were shown a gold suite (219 per week) which might be occupied by a couple (all beds are double). The cheapest option is a bronze unit with ensuite and kitchen shared with 6-8 other units (149 per week). Contracts are for either 44 or 51 weeks. The pedestrian route to the Art School is quite good but to the University of Winchester less so, even with the much improved pavement, since it involves going through the station car park and getting across Romsey Road.

Cathedral Point, Andover Road, Winchester

Cathedral Point, Andover Road, Winchester2

5. Wellington House, Kingsate, Winchester

Finally we looked at the exterior of this development by Winchester College which faces both Kingsgate and Canon Street. There are now 11 dwellings (previously 7) which are for private rent. There is ample but well concealed parking and the whole project has been very well done. It fits in, managing to look both old and new at the same time; it certainly is an improvement over what was there previously.

There is one general point to be made about the design and layout of the non-Winchester sites. Going round we noticed that they had all made a nod in the direction of the need to include solar panels (either hot water or pv) but that very little attention had been paid to the orientation of the roofs to which these were fitted or to the overall orientation of buildings. This is important if one is to maximise solar gain during the winter and output from solar panels during the whole year. When the sun is high at midday during the summer it does not shine into south facing windows but it does fall intensely on south facing roofs. Setting sun can however overheat rooms with west and north west facing windows in the summer. Similarly gardens need sun so should not be at the back of a south facing house, which would have the house shading the garden for much of the year. As impacts from climate change become more apparent these and other factors such as the use of trees for shade and assuring a potential for good through ventilation require more attention if we are to be building for the future.

Wellington House, Kingsgate, Winchester

Wellington House, Kingsgate, Winchester2

Mary Tiles & Penny Patton