A PIECE of Winchester’s Victorian heritage is threatened by a development for new homes.

A developer wants to demolish Prospect House on Magdalen Hill, the former stationmaster’s home for the Winchester Chesil railway station.

The house and railway were built to link Newbury with Southampton. Never profitable, the station closed in the 1960s.

The house, built in the 1870-80s was bought by the city council when it purchased railway land in the 1960s. It was sold last year for an undisclosed sum.

The planning application by Kevan Netherwood, though architects Radley House states that it aims: “To make better use of an under-utilised site and create more residential dwellings in a sustainable location.”

Rex Hora, chairman of Didcot, Newbury & Southampton Railway Revival, said: “It’s a pity to lose a historic building but I don’t think we have any planning grounds for an objection. It will not affect our plans to re-open the railway because, south of Whitchurch, we plan to construct a new chord and connect to the existing Basingstoke-Winchester line near Popham Tunnels.”

Speaking in a personal capacity Patrick Davies, a member of the City of Winchester Trust Council, said he had read the architects’ supporting material including their “Heritage Statement.”

Mr Davies said: “It seems very odd to me that though they say the application site ‘sits on a slope above the former station’ they make no mention of the role of the present building in the history of the railway. So little evidence on the ground remains of the buildings associated with the old railway it seems sad that the architects do not even mention the former use of this building, let alone justify its removal or discuss whether it could be incorporated in any new scheme.”