Online survey collects over 900 responses from Winchester residents.

  • 80% want to see Bushfield Camp’s legacy land opened for public use and the enhancement of nature
  • To improve access for all, nearly three quarters of respondents (72%) called for new accessible routes, pathways and cycleways
  • Bushfield’s developers will now review the feedback to update the future proposals for the site’s legacy land

The Church Commissioners for England, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) and Gisborne have shared survey findings which will help inform the future of Bushfield Camp’s legacy land.

Following many months of consultation with residents and stakeholders across Winchester, the developers have collated over 900 survey responses which will influence the future proposals. The forthcoming plans for the innovation park will see more than 60 acres of land designated for public use and be known as Winchester’s legacy land.

Half of respondents thought the whole Bushfield site was legally accessible for public use, however, only a small proportion of the former army camp has permissive access currently. Despite the misconception, 80% of people want to see this space opened up for use by nature and the public alike, and over three- quarters said Winchester needs more publicly accessible open spaces.

The development team will now take forward the survey results and explore how they can help shape the future proposals and management of the site which can be incorporated into the S106 legal agreement tied to any planning permission granted by Winchester City Council.

The survey responses identified the top potential uses of Bushfield’s legacy land, which included walking, nature observation, exercising and picnics.

Prioritising accessibility across the site also emerged as a key theme, with nearly three-quarters (72%) calling for new accessible routes, pathways and cycleways to provide much needed access for those with disabilities and parents with pushchairs, as well as improving access for pedestrians and cyclists.

When asked about future management of the legacy land, 73% of people wanted a medium-high intensity management system implemented – which could include thoughtful, informed and sensitive stewardship across the legacy land.

There was also a clear preference for the area to have a third-party expert study conducted on management types (73%) and for a specialist group or conservation body to manage the area (74%) as well as for the site to be used as an educational resource for local schools and colleges.

John Weir, Head of Real Estate for The Church Commissioners for England said:

“We’re grateful for the breadth and depth of survey responses, which will play a key role in developing our proposals for the future of Bushfield’s legacy land. As custodians for the local area, we’re committed to taking on board the feedback received.

“Enhancing the environment was one of the main topics raised in survey responses. As a result, we will ensure the land is protected and enhanced and we are committed to safeguarding biodiversity.”

“Making sure that Bushfield is safe and fully, legally accessible for everyone to enjoy is clearly a notable priority. We will now take on board the feedback and update our future management proposals to ensure Bushfield will be a best-in-class mixed-use scheme for the people of Winchester, with inclusivity, connectivity and vibrancy at the heart.”

Serving as a military training ground until 1979, Bushfield was allocated for development in the 2013 Winchester City Local Plan as an employment-led site for regeneration.

A successful outcome on the recently submitted outline planning application will see the Bushfield Camp development deliver a brand-new innovation park to the south of the city centre, aiming to attract major employers to Winchester looking for new headquarters, across life sciences, academia, media and health sectors.

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