RESIDENTS fear that a new train station car park in Micheldever could 'destroy their community'.

South Western Railway are looking to buy the land behind New Road to accommodate 150 new spaces, but will "face backlash" from locals if they succeed.

One New Road resident, Ruth Wardell, said the neighbourhood was "completely in the dark" about the plans until they saw somebody surveying the land around two weeks ago.

She added: "That greenspace has been allotments and an area for the children to play for around 100 years.

"There's huge biodiversity there, and it just doesn't make sense to destroy the environment for something that seems unnecessary.

"I'm convinced they have no real data to show that we need another car park, because there's never been anywhere near 150 cars needing to park at the train station."

She added: "My kids play there, and so do my neighbour's kids – it's not just about destroying the allotments, it would destroy our community. And for what? Something that benefits people who don't even live here.

"The nearest park is the other side of the tracks, so where else will they play? We need to protect the environment, not destroy it."

Ruth also said how a carpark would be "an eyesore" from her back windows, and that most people using the train station are dropped off rather than drive themselves.

Her concerns were raised at the last meeting of Winchester City Council.

Cabinet member for environment Cllr Lynda Murphy responded: “We have been aware for a while of the problem of too many people trying to park at the station. "South West Railway are looking at options to address the problem there. Any parking proposals will need planning permission.”

The Hampshire Chronicle has contacted South Western Railway, but is yet to receive a reply.