RESIDENTS are begging Winchester City Council to scrap its latest park and ride plans.

The authority has submitted an application to build a 287-space multi-story on the former Vaultex site in Barfield Close.

Funding for this scheme was approved by cabinet in October but upon seeing the published plans, residents are urging chiefs to reconsider.

If approved the structure will stand at around 15 metres tall.

Dr Michael Heard, consultant obstetrician at Hampshire Hospitals Trust, said:"The proposed structure will tower above Domum Road, which has become a favourite 'lockdown' walk for hundreds of residents in Winchester.

"It will be visible from the water meadows and St Catherine's hill and the 24hr lighting impacts on the Ecology of the Itchen river. The need for additional park and ride parking is unclear with the sports centre parking opening so close, with extensive and planned parking, which we were reassured would be adequate.

"As local residents we wish to preserve the area for everyone to enjoy and ask the council to not change their approved plans to just extend the surface park and ride area, with provision for the rapid increase in electric cars with charging points."

The plans include 800 square metres of photovoltaic solar panels, six electric vehicle charging bays and green walls to reduce light pollution and tackle carbon emissions.

They also propose 14 disabled parking spaces.

Local resident Ken Day said: "While the residents are generally in favour of all attempts to ease traffic congestion and parking in the city, this grossly over-egged planning application to build a three-level multi-storey car park very close to Domum Road and the adjacent River Itchen Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which is about 30 metres from the site boundary, is significantly flawed in several ways, and the impact on Domum Road and the SSSI specifically is unacceptable.

"We cannot speak for the residents of Barfield Close and Bar End Road, however many of the features currently forecast will undoubtedly have an adverse effect on them as well.

"We believe that this proposal is seriously flawed in a number of ways as was the original “change of use” planning application for 123 cars granted in May 2020.

"Following so closely behind it, this submission does beg the question that the then planning committee were clearly not aware that the actual intention was to follow up with this three-storey monstrosity a few months later."

"As already intimated, the arguments for easing traffic congestion in Winchester are well understood and not contested, but why should an elegant city like Winchester become straddled with unsightly box like buildings like this, not least as we already have one just across the Bar End Road?

"Furthermore this huge (unsightly) building will be on view to all who enter Winchester via the M3 central junction and enjoy recreation in the surrounding area particularly up St Catherine’s Hill.

"A spoiler which cuts across the current iconic panorama provided by St Cross Hospital, RHCH, Winchester Cathedral and the Guildhall amongst others."

Mr Day has written an in-depth letter to the city council about why he is objecting to the plans.

Members of the public have until February 24 to submit a representation via the city council's planning portal.