SIR: It’s immensely good news that so many people, from Winchester and the wider world, objected to the proposal to build on the lovely Water Garden off Colebrook Street, and to see the resounding list of reasons why Winchester City Council’s planners felt it should not go ahead.

I’m particularly pleased that the Chronicle printed the text of the objection from Amelia Smithers, daughter of the designer and original owner of the garden (Chronicle, November 19). She makes it very clear that her father intended the garden to give pleasure to passers-by, and to the widest population. It’s amusing to read that Amelia, aged five, had to be fished out after falling into the water. Apart from being a play-place for the children, the garden can really only have been a responsibility, requiring maintenance and attention. But her parents didn’t think of it as a financial asset to be realised.

After the Smithers family moved to Switzerland, by the early 1970s Colebrook House and its semi-detached garden had passed to the Calcutts, who continued to maintain it for the benefit of the public. How sad, then, that Lady Calcutt’s heir should seek to profit by putting the garden on the market immediately he had inherited it, and that his buyer should seek to profit even more by building on it - especially at this time when people need open space and beauty more than ever.

Countless people enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the garden; it’s essential that it should be protected from further attempts at development. This is not a matter of nimbyism, or of protecting privilege, it’s about protecting the public good and ensuring that the generous spirit of its maker can continue to lift the spirits of anyone who happens upon this unique corner of Winchester.

Judith Martin,

Romsey Road,