SIR: We have two major plans for Saxongate and Sir John Moore Barracks that could radically change the lives of everyone in and around Winchester. We now need to step back and let the residents and stakeholders agree a framework for the design and development of the district as a whole over the next 20 years into which such major developments have to fit. This is too important to be left to the council alone.

The recent Winchester Vision Statement 2020-2030 is an excellent and thought-provoking document but its scope is limited and its proposals affect only life in the city. This should be expanded by including more people and organisations in creating a much wider vision of how the district as a whole should grow. It would incorporate broader issues such as design, employment, housing, transport, demographics, and culture.

The creation of this wider vision statement would be managed by independent experts with the council, residents and stakeholders working together as partners in the consultation. Since the Winchester Vision Statement, which was commissioned by the city council, is so strongly critical of the council for its lack of commitment and leadership, there will have to be a supervising board which would be politically independent and which would ensure that the principles of the development and expansion of Winchester are followed by the council in the future.

This proposal has been adopted in cities all over the world. We are the ones most affected by these changes and we should be directly involved in these major decisions.

Nicholas Craig Harvey,