PLANS to extend a park and ride site in Winchester to add over 130 spaces to the network has been given the green light.

Winchester City Council has approved its own plan to provide further out of city parking spaces at the former Coventry House, also known as the Vaultex site.

The site, next to Barfield Park and Ride, will aim to meet growing demand, and is hoped to improve both city centre traffic and air quality.

The planning application added: “This development will aid the City Council and Hampshire County Council to reduce traffic on the road network, reduce its carbon footprint and provide people with more sustainable options when visiting the city.”

The site will not be serviced by a new bus stop within the car park as it was deemed “unnecessary and inefficient” due to its close proximity to the Barfield Park and Ride. Instead a new stop is being installed on Barfield Close.

Hampshire Chronicle:

As previously reported, civic chiefs shelled out £1.6million to buy Coventry House and demolition started in October last year to enlarge the car park.

“The former building on the site has been demolished and cleared in preparation for development. A new road and parking layout will be introduced, the existing trees and bushes on site will be retained and further planting introduced,” the application added.

The funds came through the council's Strategic Asset Purchase Scheme pot, which allows the council to secure new infrastructure.

A spokesperson for Winchester City Council, said: “We are really pleased to have secured planning permission to progress the delivery of 130 new Park & Ride spaces at Bar End.

“This supports the delivery of the Movement Strategy and the expansion of greener travel options for people coming into Winchester.

“A report will be considered by the Cabinet in June which will set out funding arrangements and timescale for delivery.”

The Vaultex building was a store where cash for ATMs was kept for use in banks across the area.