IT SEEMS that Winchester City Council is pressing on with a new multi-storey – despite objections from nearby residents.

Ken Day, who lives in Domum Road, has criticised civic chiefs over the car park plans for Barfield Close.

If the structure is completed it will stand at around 15-metres tall, with spaces for 287 vehicles on the former Vaultex site.

But Mr Day believes the council has missed out crucial steps in its planning process and has overlooked the opinions of the local community. He also thinks that groundworks have already begun.

"No attempt has yet been made by Wincester City Council to respond to the particular objections lodged by Domum Road residents, who will be closest to the new multi-storey and most affected," said Mr Day.

"The council have been boasting about their view of the benefits of the £5million spend on the new 287 vehicle car park; that works out at more than £17,000 per vehicle cost. Is that value for money and at what cost to the environment?

"There is evidence building that due process was not followed when the Vaultex building was demolished and the site flattened. Also, that the ecology and environment were not properly considered when the former Vaultex site was awarded planning permission for change of use and single storey car parking. As part of the ecology requirements, bat surveys are absolutely essential particularly when bats are known to be in the vicinity.

"This requirement is rigorously applied and enforced on all domestic planning applications but clearly not so in this case as Winchester City Council seem to have declared themselves void of this important commitment."

Mr Day spotted a cherry picker on the site earlier this month.

He added: "We have asked for three scaffold towers to illustrate the height of building on the west boundary; so far a cherry picker appeared over this last weekend but has since gone. Not even sure that it was at the right height.

"All the items quoted in the many objections raised on this planning application remain outstanding, and no explanations have yet been provided or noticeable attempts made to understand the local concerns."

A spokesperson for Winchester City Council has written to the Chronicle regarding Mr Day's concerns.

They said: "The planning application submission for the former Vaultex site has sought to address the views and concerns of residents in relation to this development. The plans for the Park and Ride facilities were adapted following virtual engagement meetings with local residents and organisations, including Domum Road residents. This work is part of the implementation of the Winchester Movement Strategy.

"The submitted plans incorporated this feedback and included changes to cover points such as additional park and ride spaces at Bar End, providing screening from Domum Road, low intensity and bat-friendly lighting, and designing a building which will be a lower height than the previous structure.

The application will be considered by the council’s planning committee at the end of April, who will determine the application.