WINCHESTER’S MP says has criticised plans for a major redevelopment of the city’s Army training camp.

Last week the Chronicle revealed proposals for Sir John Moore Barracks, in Littleton, once the Ministry of Defence leaves the base between 2022 and 2024.

But the masterplan, which proposes to construct homes, employment and community facilities, has been criticised by Winchester MP Steve Brine.

In 2016, when the MoD announced the closure of the barracks, Mr Brine, then council leader Cllr Stephen Godfrey and business leaders joined forces in backing plans for a ‘knowledge park’.

Proposals were then explored to bring hundreds of new high-skill jobs to the 86-hectare Andover Road site, also known as Flowerdown.

Following the masterplan announcement, Mr Brine said: “I remain thoroughly unconvinced it’s a positive that the MoD are vacating Flowerdown but, if that is to be, I will go on making the case that instead of dumping another 1,000 houses on this side of Winchester, they should be imaginative and seek to create new high-quality employment to support the local and regional economy. Winchester, and this site in particular, is so well placed as a workplace destination and we make almost nothing of it.

“Above all, they must not over-develop this site as that will go down extremely badly with those of us left living here long after the army have gone.”

Stephen Burgess, chairman of Littleton and Harestock Parish Council, said that the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), part of the MoD, gave a briefing to the authority last month on the masterplan.

He said: “The MoD announced some time ago that Sir John Moore Barracks would close and the site would be available for re-development. Therefore, the proposal is no surprise and their projected dates are approximately the same as they had forecast.

“Confirmation of the approximate dates have only emerged in the last few weeks, and we believe the MoD is looking to submit a planning application in the spring.”

On Wednesday evening the first consultation event took place which laid out the current masterplan for the development.