FEARS have been raised over the "major implications" of the Liberal Democrat election candidate's proposal to build a new hospital at Sir John Moore Barracks.

Winchester MP Steve Brine highlighted the issue of the 750 - 1,000 homes allocated to the site in the district's latest draft local plan.

This comes after Winchester Lib Dem election candidate Danny Chambers called for the new hospital to be built at the barracks when it's vacated by the Ministry of Defence in 2026.

Conservative election candidate Flick Drummond accused Mr Chambers of misleading local people as there is no way it can be built at the military base.

Hampshire Together's consultation on the new hospital recently closed on plans to spend £800-900 million on a new hospital and downgrade the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester by closing its A&E unit and making the maternity unit midwife-led.

READ MORE: Winchester family still without a home over year after major fire

Sir John Moore Barracks was one of 20 sites considered for a new hospital. 

In a letter to Winchester City Council leader Martin Tod and chief executive Laura Taylor, Mr Brine said: “You will be aware of recent press reports which, more significantly than the politics of course, presents the ‘idea’ - courtesy I understand of an open letter - of the new hospital being considered by Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust being built on the Sir John Moore Barracks site in Winchester.

“You will also be aware that this is not a new idea (Hampshire Chronicle front-page from August 2017) and know that the site was considered by HHFT as part of its site selection work prior to the recently closed Hampshire Together consultation going live. 

“No-one would of course wish to discount the idea of a brand new hospital – in Winchester to serve Winchester – and indeed that wasn’t what happened as the factsheet considers in some detail but, as I have said many times and as you know well, this new build is primarily to replace Basingstoke Hospital so that was never truly an option.

“Furthermore, and the purpose of me writing to you , is to seek urgent clarification on a number of issues which the resurfacing of this idea is creating and the perfectly legitimate concerns being raised with me by constituents as a result.”

The Winchester MP added: “While I have a well publicised view about the wisdom of disposing of a valued MoD site, not to mention another 900 houses north of Winchester, the fact is the people running Winchester City Council have created, and widely consulted upon, a Local Plan that puts them on the barracks site and not on green spaces in pretty much every other parish across the District.

"If there's been a change in the local plan, especially given a complex statutory process of consulting upon it is well underway, that's very serious with major implications. We need clarity."