SIR: It is ironic that at the very time when new plans for Winchester City are stressing the joys and benefits of walking in beautiful surroundings, a relative newcomer to the town is bent on destroying one of its jewels. As one walks past the little garden beside Water Close, one can see that its rivulet, magnolias, and fine stonework are a lovely reflection of Winchester’s close relationship with the hills and streams of its countryside and the many fine trees in the town itself.

The fact that over 650 people* have now objected to the plans for Water Close shows how many Wintonians know and love their city. Many, too, are experts in architecture, planning and business; they should be put to good, hands-on use by our city council. Like so many other local authorities it is impoverished and needs all the resources that it can get in driving forward the changes that are so necessary and particular to Winchester. Other cities (Oxford, for example) are doing this to face their particular problems. We are indeed in a rapidly changing world and we all have to adapt in our own localised ways..

Jock Macdonald,

Stockbridge Road,



SIR: Adding to the views already expressed by correspondents to the Hampshire Chronicle over past weeks to which I entirely agree there is another aspect of the Water Garden to consider.

This area of Winchester is designed to incorporate Victorian houses. The application to erect a dwelling on the water garden site would be entirely out of character with the rest of the houses and would stand out "like a sore thumb".

The planning committee of Winchester City Council should very carefully consider all objections before making a decision.

Phil Yates,

Tower Street,


*Editor's note: The number of objections has since risen from 650 to more than 1,000 following Mr Macdonald's letter.