A MARCH through Winchester to protest at proposed development will be staged on Saturday November 29.

Organisers are hoping that hundreds of people will attend the demonstration about the unhappiness that many people feel about a lack of consultation from the city council.

Groups poised to march include Save the Rec, campaigning on the River Park Leisure Centre and Winchester Deserves Better which is battling the Silver Hill scheme.

Organiser Mike Caldwell said he hoped to tap into the disquiet that people feel over the Barton Farm 2,000 home development that is set to start next year and the threats to Bushfield Camp, Chesil Street open-air car park and the Cattle Market.

Mr Caldwell said: “We hope to get as many people as possible. I have been very involved with Save the Rec and one thing that struck me is that there are a lot of diverse groups unhappy about a lack of transparency and proper consultation.

“This march will pull all these different groups together. I’m getting a good feeling in terms of numbers.

“We want to make a big statement; there are lots of very unhappy people in Winchester at the way things are being handled that will affect the city for years to come.”

Cllr Kim Gottlieb, who is leading the campaign against Silver Hill, said: “In the last few weeks very many people have told me of their concerns about major development proposals in Winchester, including those at Chesil Street, Station Approach and River Park. Whether it's fair or unfair criticism in each case, there is a general perception that the decision-making process lacks transparency and that only lip service is paid to public consultation.

“Others proposed the idea of a march and its purpose is simply to convey the message to the Council that Winchester residents are not happy with this situation. I hope the council will listen.”

Council leader Rob Humby rejected claims that the council has lacked transparency in its dialogue with the public.

He said: “One thing these diverse issues have in common is extensive public consultation. Often this has been consultation over many months or even years and it has led to significant changes and improvements to proposals.

“Do certain groups refuse to accept that there has been extensive public consultation simply because the outcome is not to their liking? Those who suggest – quite wrongly - that the council pays ‘lip service’ to consultation risk undermining the very process they claim to value.”

The marchers are due to gather at River Park at 11am before leaving at 11.15am. The route has yet to be confirmed but they are due at the Guildhall in The Broadway by Noon, for short speeches.

Save the Rec staged a protest fun day at River Park last May and rock star Frank Turner attended.

Mr Caldwell said he feared that recording commitments will prevent Mr Turner from attending.