Drew Smith unlocks potential of Winchester site, to the delight of local councillors and residents

Drew Smith has been granted approval to build 35 affordable, new homes in the village of Kings Worthy, on the outskirts of Winchester, for Winchester City Council (WCC).

The site has been controversial until now, with objections to development raised in 2015 and 2018, despite a recognised need for more housing in the area.

Known locally as Top Field, the land off Burnet Lane, Kings Worthy was historically used for farming but now hosts a number of footpaths which are very popular with local people for recreation.  Through extensive engagement with the community it became clear that – in addition to the provision of affordable housing – securing the use of Top Field for the public’s benefit was of utmost importance.

Drew Smith solved the challenges presented by this site by creating plans for 35 affordable new homes for local people, with a remaining portion of the land being transferred into public ownership in perpetuity as a Field In Trust; preventing any further development in the future.  The planning committee offered unanimous consent to the scheme and its chairman congratulated Drew Smith and Winchester City Council for “a scheme with a feel-good factor”.

Leanne Smith, Business Development Director at Drew Smith said: “We are delighted to be a part of the team that has enabled this land to reach its full potential as both a recreation space and by providing much-needed affordable housing for the area.  The success of this scheme is testament to what can be achieved through a collaborative effort to address the requirements of a community, and we look forward to partnering once again with Winchester City Council.”

The development, named Hookpit Farm, will provide 35 affordable new homes of one to four-bedrooms of which 25 will be for affordable rent, eight for shared ownership and two for discounted market sale. Work is due to start on site later this year, with completion scheduled for late 2020.