PLANS to demolish a piece of Winchester’s railway heritage has been turned down by city councillors.

Developer Kevan Netherwood, of the Clydesdale Group, applied to knock down Prospect House on Magdalen Hill and build four new houses on the plot.

The Victorian building was the stationmaster’s house for the Winchester Chesil Station on the Southampton to Newbury railway which closed to passenger traffic in 1960.

There were few, if any, objections before the Chronicle highlighted the application, alerting the City of Winchester Trust, and sparking opposition.

In the end the coverage led to 20 objections and two in support.

The city council planning officers recommended refusal and the councillors on the planning committee rejected the plan by eight votes to nil last Thursday.

In their report to the committee the planning officers said the proposal “would lead to substantial harm of the Conservation Area as a Heritage Asset and the total loss of significance of a building, which has been determined to be an undesignated heritage asset contributing significantly to the character and appearance of the street scene.

“It has not been demonstrated that the substantial harm or total loss is necessary to achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss.”

Geraldine Buchanan, of Elm Road, Fulflood, spoke against the plan, stating the historical importance of the house.

She told the Chronicle the house should be listed and said she understood the developers had been unaware of its historical importance.

She hopes the developers will leave the house alone and develop the rest of the plot.

The developer said the proposal would “make better use of an under-utilised site and create more residential dwellings in a sustainable location”.

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