Thanks to Cllr Catherine Smart for these brief notes of the recent workshop at St Philip’s Church Centre
The City Council has resolved to leave the Depot on Mill Road which it has occupied for over 100 years. The new Local Plan allocates the land for housing and says there must be a Design Brief which will become Supplementary Planning Guidance to set parameters on how it is developed.
A Workshop was held on 10th November as a first stage in drawing up the SDP. Between 50 and 60 people took part – neighbours, members of residents associations, Petersfield and Romsey councillors, council officers and advisors.
The opening presentation explored aspects of the site and pointed out factors which would have to be taken into account including:-
- the shape and size of the area – roughly rectangular with north/south the longest side.
- the contamination of the land – the extent of which was not yet fully known
- the noise from the railway.
- the plan for the Chisholm Trail to come through the site.
- the old Library – which was Grade 2 Listed & on 75 year lease.
- Several other leaseholders who would have to be accommodated in some way – the Women’s Resource Centre and a line of garages
The participants then broke into groups to discuss other factors that would need to be taken into account and consider options. At the summing up there was a considerable amount of agreement between the groups.
- The principal desire was for quality housing – at least 40% “affordable”.
- Different types of housing tenure- possibly including social rented, a co-operative and intermediate.
- Different types of housing – terraced housing, housing suitable for people “downsizing”, apartments.
- The lay-out was discussed with the merits of east /west for solar gain against north/ south, continuing the shape of the area.
- The importance of two story housing on the edges of the site so as not to over-shadow or dominate the neighbours was agreed but it might be possible to build higher next to the railway.
- The importance of a community space and a play area for small children
- The difficulty in making a community space welcoming to those not living on the site if it is in the middle – so perhaps in the south near the old Library would be the answer
- Other community facilities – perhaps also linked to the Library
Access took up little time as all agreed that vehicle access should only be from Mill Road though there should be pedestrian and cycle access from the north as well, this is in spite of the junction onto Mill Road being difficult. The importance of avoiding conflict between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians was agreed – but not solved!!
Making the development “car-free” was considered but the danger of spilling onto neighbouring streets was acknowledged.
Another workshop is planned for January.