HE FACED an army of 1,046 objectors – and now the planning battle is over.

Alan Stone's proposals to build a house on Water Garden near Winchester Cathedral have been refused by the city council.

It is thought that the plans for the much-loved beauty spot were the most controversial the district has ever seen.

A spokesperson for the City of Winchester Trust said: "A record number of objections demonstrates clearly how strongly city residents feel about the garden.

"Only one comment supporting the application was received.

"The application was deemed to fail to comply with a significant number of policies including buildings conservation, archaeology, ecology, flood risk and tree protection."

In a report, a planning officer has listed the reasons for the authority's decision.

These include: "Landscape feature makes a positive contribution to the approach to the cathedral; much loved by residents and admired by visitors; it has a negative impact on a listed asset – garden was separated from Colebrook House’s ownership so in effect it has an effect on the setting of the garden of a listed building."

It adds that the house would "adversely impact" the approach to Cathedral Close, the cathedral and Wolvesey Palace.

The full list of 25 reasons can be seen on the city council's website.

Amelia Smithers, daughter of the former MP who created Water Garden had written in objection.

Her father Sir Peter Smithers, who served as Winchester MP between 1950 and 1964, finished the garden near the cathedral in 1962.

"I was born in 1957 and lived in Colebrook House, Colebrook Street until I was seven years old and my father went to work as Secretary General of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France," begins the objection from Ms Smithers, who currently lives in Switzerland.

"Even in Strasbourg, my father designed his garden so that it would give pleasure to passers-by. That was the sort of man he was.

"I remember the Winchester water garden very well and actually fell into the water of the completed garden when I was five, so in 1962. I remember being fished out covered in mud.

"I remember walking with him in the grounds of the cathedral when he had taken responsibility for planting some new trees.

"As a great gardener, in planning the water garden, he wanted to do something that would give pleasure to passers-by. So he created a garden that was visible from the street."

Ms Smithers described her father as "great plantsman", and said that he would have chosen the trees, including the magnolia trees, with great care.

The written objection continues: "Like the passers-by of today, I went on daily walks to the cathedral as a child and those walks started in Colebrook Street and the water garden before taking the footpath to the Cathedral.

"I believe the proposed construction would largely destroy the garden and would certainly damage the 'heritage and landscape character' of the immediate area and should not be allowed.

"Countless people enjoy the view of the water garden as they walk towards the cathedral and they should be allowed to continue enjoying it."