Our guide to developing in Winchester


Winchester City Council offices
Winchester City Council offices

Winchester City Council, our “home” local authority in Hampshire. The cathedral city and ancient capital of England actually only forms a small part of what is otherwise a largely rural authority. The district encompasses a large swathe of central Hampshire countryside – much of which now falls within the new South Downs National Park (see below).





Latest News from Winchester

Approved: new mezzanine floor/office space at industrial unit in Winchester

Winchester City Council: Neil McKeon is pleased to have secured planning permission for the erectio[...]

Approved: new offices for haulage firm at countryside site near Winchester

Winchester City Council: Dan Wilden is pleased to have secured a new office building for a speciali[...]

Approved: house alterations and outbuilding in South Downs conservation area

South Downs National Park Authority (Winchester City Council area): Dan Wilden is pleased to have s[...]

Key points about developing in Winchester

Development Plan: Winchester has adopted a Core Strategy (now known as Local Plan Part 1 – Joint Core Strategy) which replaces some but not all of the 2006 Local Plan. They have begun producing the Part 2 (Development Management and Site Allocations) but don’t anticipate adopting until summer 2016.

Pre-application advice: Winchester charges for this service (no charge for householder proposals) with fees dependent upon the scale of the proposal and whether you require a full detailed or an in-principle response. Call us for advice on whether this service is worthwhile in your case.

Affordable Housing: The new Core Strategy has no threshold so the national thresholds of 10 units (5 units in the South Downs National Park) or 1000 sqm applies. Proposals above these levels will be expected to provide 40% (of the gross numbers) as affordable housing. On sites of fewer than 5 dwellings a financial contribution will be accepted but 5 or more it will be expected on site.

Community Infrastructure Levy:

Winchester has adopted CIL which will be charged to all approvals after 07 April 2014. NOTE: CIL only applies outside of the South Downs National Park. In the National Park previous S106 requirements remain.

The adopted rates are:

Residential: Zone 1 (the strategic allocations which will contribute separately): nil; Zone 2 (Winchester settlement boundary) £120 per sqm; Zone 3 (everywhere else outside the National Park) £80 per sqm

Hotel: £70 per sqm

Retail: (all Winchester town centre shops plus convenience stores, supermarkets and retail warehouses elsewhere only) £120 per sqm

Everything else (including other retail types): nil

Special policy restrictions:

A substantial area of the district is within the South Downs National Park. The National Park Authority are actually the local planning authority for that area but they have delegated out most day-to-day determination of planning applications to the City Council only dealing with the most significant proposals.

The Council has a policy to try and encourage new small dwellings – on sites of 2 or more units at least 50% must be 1 or 2 bedroom dwellings under 75 sqm. There are also restrictions on extending or replacing small dwellings in the countryside.

New residential development has to meet Level 5 for the energy & CO2 section of Code for Sustainable Homes and Level 4 for water.

Useful Links

Winchester Planning Homepage

Planning Applications Search

Planning Policy

South Downs National Park Authority planning