PARKING problems could be a thing of the past for part of one Winchester suburb.

Civic chiefs have agreed a £150,000 programme of improvements around Winnall Flats, Braxton, Craddock, Dennett and Earle Houses, off Winnall Manor Road.

The cash will be used to improve parking and leisure facilities and follows a public consultation last year.

Access to the area will be improved and 51 garages demolished to make way for more spaces.

The council owns the garages and the loss of revenue from renting them out will be £20,000 a year.

The cost of the parking improvements, such as lighting and engineering, is estimated to at £122,000.

Cllr Jane Rutter said: “It’s going to make a huge difference to the flats and will raise general living standards. It’s overdue, but I’m pleased to see it.”

The council is considering introducing permits for residents but Cllr Victoria Weston warned that care would be needed to avoid the area being used by nearby businesses.

Cllr Janet Berry said: “All the businesses in Winnall need to be involved. We need to look at the whole question of a comprehensive question of a comprehensive approach that brings together residents and businesses.

But at a housing meeting at the Guildhall on Tuesday (Feb 3), councillors heard that plans for new children’s activities on the estate have been put on hold.

Richard Botham, Winchester City Council’s chief housing officer, said: “We had a very mixed response from residents on the play activities. Some people didn’t want it to go here, others didn’t want it to be too near to their flat, and so on.”

The council still has £28,000 earmarked for children’s activities though, and that cash will be rolled over to the next budget.