THE city council may have closed its consultation over the latest Silver Hill proposals – but it still faces fierce criticism.

Sir Antony Walker has written a letter to project chiefs.

He is the chairman of the Winchester Deserves Better campaign group, which consists of nine local professionals including former city councillor, Kim Gottlieb.

The letter says: "We have always supported the regeneration of this important area, but we do not believe that the strategy being adopted by the council will lead to a successful outcome and make the best of the opportunity that this site represents.

"A central concern is that the council is relinquishing control of the project before many aspects, especially its public benefits, have been adequately defined and secured.

"No developer partner is going to invest in the project without assuming a controlling position and the ability of the council to manage the project after a contract is made is very limited."

The letter then lists nine key features of the latest plans which the group wish to see changed.

These are: "Developers: A central tenet of the SPD is that the site's regeneration should involve several developers, and it is a mistake for the council to ignore this crucial guidance.

"Master Plan: No scheme of scale or importance could hope to succeed without the benefit of a master plan. This should be prepared under the auspices of the council not a developer.

"Buses: Allowing buses to run through the site spoils the public realm and the regeneration concept. The future location of the bus station must be resolved by the council.

"Movement Strategy: A prerequisite to the regeneration is that this must be completed and adopted, so that the whole city becomes more pedestrian and cycle friendly.

"The Brooks: The heritage and environmental benefits of opening them up is not being secured. How this work is carried out, and by whom, should be clearly defined.

"The Museum: The opportunity to create a world-class facility and a new major attraction for the city has been missed.

"Archaeology: What could be a priceless asset has yet to be fully investigated and adequately protected. No consideration for its exhibition has been made.

"Kings Walk: Whilst we support the interim use of existing buildings, the retention of such a poor quality building, for a decade or more, will continue to blight the whole area.

"Details: The written and drawn material is too vague and unsupported by evidence, to provide any confidence in the viability and coherence of the council's proposal."

The council will host a public open forum which will be held at 6pm on January 26 to discuss feedback from the consultation.

The letter concludes: ""We remain supportive of the principal of regeneration. However, we very strongly advise that the current proposal to seek a development partner is stayed and that the detailed plan, or alternative plans, be considered in any meaningful way and consulted upon by the public.

"A site of such significance to the city deserves nothing less."