Residents have criticised the county council for building a new car park at a Hampshire beauty spot.

The new Hawthorne car park in Sarum Road at Farley Mount, between Winchester and Romsey, has been described as an eyesore by residents.

They have also complained that the car park is being used as a skid pan by motorists.

Sandra Rowden, from Furzedown Road in King's Somborne, said: “I’m pretty horrified that they’ve destroyed a large amount of ancient chalk downland to put in an urban car park similar to something you’d find in Sainsbury’s or Tesco. “I can understand them wanting to increase the car parking because they have had problems with the policing so they wanted to put a car park in that was further away from the road and that’s fine.

“But to do what they have done and put in huge lines in orange is not what we want,” she added.

Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey added: “I really am very disappointed that this has been allowed to happen, and we are now at a situation where the best that can be expected is lessening the impact of a very unfortunate feature in an otherwise beautiful rural landscape.”

County council executive member for culture and recreation, Councillor Keith Chapman, said: “The refurbishment was the result of ongoing work since 2008 to improve access and to prevent crime. “The measures will also reduce erosion and introduce grazing to improve conservation management of the chalk downland at Farley Mount Country Park.”