CIVIC chiefs are set to decide the future of a long-vacant area in Winchester.

The controversial plans for a multi-storey car park on the former Vaultex site in Bar End go before the planning committee on April 22.

Residents of Domum Road and other nearby streets are urging councillors to refuse them.

They say that the initial plans to extend the park and ride, approved last May, have significantly changed.

In early March 2020 an application was made for the change of use as an extension of the current park and ride system.

This was for 123 cars, and the application was approved in May 2020. No public objections had been submitted.

Around the same time Winchester City Council made an application to the M3 Local Enterprise Partnership for a grant of £5.65 million to build a multi-storey car park.

The report by M3 said: "Commuters and visitors into Winchester will find it easier to “go low carbon” with this new “Park, Ride and EV Charge” scheme. The £5.6m facility, on the outskirts of the city, will create more than 240 jobs and combine at least 300 park and ride spaces with electric vehicle charging points, powered by renewable solar energy."

But the city council was faced with backlash after submitting another application for the 15-metre structure with three levels.

There was been a last-minute stream of objections with 76 registered with the council planning department and only one expression of support.

Michael Heard who lives nearby said: "I have requested details of this submission from the council but as yet I have not been sent it. I find it difficult to understand how it creates 240 jobs.

"Covid then changed things as far as car parking requirements and the many calculations made about future provision of car parking.

"Before August 2020 the grant was approved with the spend needed prior to Jan 2022. Detailed design and two local Zoom meetings were set up. There were minor changes to design, but the height and storeys the same.

"In January 2021 a new planning application was made for a multi-storey carpark for 287 cars, photoelectric panels and EV charging points."

Mr Heard added: "So a huge spend on the only bit of land Winchester City Council owns and can therefore develop relatively easily, for an extra 164 cars, at a time where it is very unclear if more parking is needed.

"When the Chesil car park was closed to build Chesil Lodge we were told no more parking was needed and there was meant to be adequate parking on the new sports centre."

Local residents have also written a letter to the planning committee outlining their concerns.