OBJECTIONS are still pouring in to plans for a car park on a historic meadow on the edge of Winchester.

The Hospital of St Cross wants to build a 57-space car park on St Cross Park close to the medieval almshouses and improve access for emergency vehicles.

But following the opposition last week within a few days of the proposal becoming widely known the hospital has temporarily withdrawn the plans for a public consultation.

In a letter to the Chronicle, published on page 22, the chairman of trustees of the hospital, David Firebrace said said many objectors were misinformed.

He wrote: “The Trustees of the Hospital of St Cross are very disappointed about the objections to the proposed development of a car park in the meadow next to the Hospital Buildings and Church, especially as many of them are inaccurate.

“The Trustees have therefore withdrawn the application so that there can be a full consultation with the local community, which I am confident will allay many of the fears, before the application is remade.”

The number of formal objections has this week grown to 82.

Juliet Dudson, of Shawford Rioad, Shawford, wrote: “There are plenty of park and ride facilities available in Winchester and there is no need to build more parking. Especially so on the water meadows. This is a beautiful area and should remain such.”

Robert Rudd, of Priors Dean Road, Harestock, wrote: “Winchester City Council has placed certain restrictions on any development of Bushfield Camp. One of these restrictions is that any development must not encroach onto the east side of the site. This is specifically to protect the view and surrounding area of St Cross, the Chapel and Hospital, and also the view from St Cross. Which is classed as a very important Winchester vista and must be protected. To build a car park on the proposed site goes completely against the city council’s own Planning rules, and duty to protect such areas.”

Michael Carden, senior member of the City of Winchester Trust who has worked as an architect for the hospital, said he was very concerned to hear about the plan.

Several objectors point out that the landscape was the inspiration of John Keats’s poem Ode to Autumn.

The hospital says the car park would cater for the events that it hosts such as weddings, memorial services, fetes and concerts. It proposes to put down a mesh that allows grass to grow through but can also support vehicles and stock-proof fencing. No tarmac is proposed.