THE city council has come under criticism for keeping progress on the Station Approach scheme behind closed doors.

The project has been put on hold following a judicial review lodged by the City of Winchester Trust, which quashed the planning application.

Former councillor and Labour group leader Patrick Davies used public participation time at a cabinet meeting to ask the council whether the public could be made aware of updates regarding the scheme.

He noted that the proposal was set to be considered by the “project board” on December 19 last year, adding: “My question is, who or what are the project board and are its papers available for the public.”

But chief executive Laura Taylor said: “They are private meetings so they are not available to the public. Any decisions that come out of the board will be made through the council’s decision making process be that an officer decision, a decision day, a decision by cabinet or by full council. There has been no decision yet regarding the future steps towards the station approach work and when the council is ready to make that decision it will of course be communicated in the usual way.”

To which Mr Davies replied: “So there will be a public discussion before this is taken forward in whatever forum,” but Mr Taylor simply said that a decision would be communicated.

And Mr Davies ended with: “Very unsatisfactory.”