On Tuesday 2 October the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced his decision to approve an appeal by Cala Homes to build 2,000 homes at the Barton Farm site on the outskirts of Winchester.
A row about the future of the site has been raging since the late 1990s when the developer bought the land. In 2010 Winchester City Council rejected a planning application on the grounds that the development was premature and that that volume of housing was not yet needed in the area.
The Secretary of State initially backed the council's rejection of the scheme, but after the decision was ruled unlawful he had to reconsider - and on Tuesday 2 October he accepted the Planning Inspectorate's recommendation to approve the development.
Residents living near the site have held several demonstrations and organised petitions over the years, even setting up the 'Save Barton Farm Group' - a campaign to fight the development. Those against the project cited that it would cause more traffic jams, contribute to a flood risk, mean a loss of high quality farmland and ruin the city's landscape. There has been varied reaction to the decision to give the project the go-ahead:
Local MP Steve Brine has fought against the planned development. In the wake of Tuesday's decision, he has said he will meet with the area's secondary school heads and Hampshire County Council to discuss the potential impact on school places in the area.
Although initially against the development, now that it has been approved in a statement on its website Winchester City Council said: 'Given the history of this site the Council chose to take the responsible step to influence the design, infrastructure and layout of the scheme throughout its development rather than risk a poor quality scheme being taken through the planning process.'
The developer - CALA Group Ltd said it welcomed the appeal decision and was now looking forward to continuing to 'work positively with the Council and local community to deliver a high quality development'.