A PLANNING application to build on one of the city’s most beautiful and tranquil gardens has been submitted.

Alan Stone wants to put a house on Water Garden, despite promising he would never develop the land when he bought it two years ago.

No doubt, his proposals will be met with a storm of objections from angry locals over the next few weeks.

Winchester’s community is known for its togetherness in these situations, and the plans will probably be refused, this time around.

But perhaps what is more worrying is the future.

The Prime Minister wishes to loosen restrictions in a country-wide shake up of the planning system.

This is to allow faster housebuilding and could see news of all applications being moved online, rather than being publicly available in the usual places.

As residents, will we even have the chance to object to plans? Or will it just be the public bodies and trusts who can only object if the proposals go against certain criteria?

Who knows – maybe the changes will work in Mr Stone’s favour.