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Winchester locals spark petition to prevent Water Garden being built on

The Water Garden, first created by Sir Peter Smithers in the 1950s, is now threatened by the current owner’s construction plans according to Winchester City Council.

The Water Garden is a well-known beauty spot of Winchester which moves backwards onto the Cathedral. The space consists of a pond, classical statue, and magnolia tree. The small area is mostly used for locals to walk through and take photos. Nonetheless, the spot’s future has been threatened and has sparked outrage online, on a Facebook page named “WINCH RANTS”, as development plans are put forward.

Buying the land back in 2018, Alan Stone publicly put out a statement to reassure the city council that it would be preserved, stating: “What’s the point of having something that beautiful and building on it?”

Yet just two years on a proposal has been brought to WCC (Winchester City Council) claiming Mr Stone wishes to build a two-storey house and two new openings for the garden, according to news reports.

Stephen Harte, Winchester City Council’s spokesman and groups of online locals have publicly objected to the application reports “THE SUN.” Members of the public had up until mid-November to send in written complains to the Council in order to get the construction cancelled, which has hit over 1,000 names in total.

One local 3rd year student, Esme Winterbone, said: “I think history should be preserved for the enjoyment of the public. I, and many others I know, enjoy walking through that public space and would hate to see it ruined by developers”

A first year named Jamie Marsh, gave a brief synopsis of their complaint letter, stating that: “Water Close is a modern treasure, a public work of art, a heritage asset and even a tourist attraction”

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