Council to consider Development Agreement for Broadway/Friarsgate

The redevelopment of the Broadway/Friarsgate area of the city is being considered by Winchester City Council over the next few weeks.

This is the latest stage in the process to regenerate an extensive area of Winchester which includes the bus station, Friarsgate medical practice, Marks and Spencer's car park and warehouse, Kings Walk, the Post Office and former sorting office, Friarsgate car park, Sainsbury's supermarket and properties fronting Silver Hill.

Principal Scrutiny Committee will look at the proposed Development Agreement between the preferred developer, Thornfield Properties, and the Council, at its meeting on 27 September, before passing their comments to Cabinet for 6 October. They will make recommendations to full Council in November.

Winchester City Council consulted widely with local residents and businesses when preparing the Planning Brief that laid down the blueprint for any future development on the site. Thornfield Properties have responded to that Brief with a proposal to the Council.

Leader of the Council Sheila Campbell said Principal Scrutiny Committee will identify any areas of concern before passing the Development Agreement to Cabinet for consideration.

"It has taken more than eight years to reach this important stage," she added. "The redevelopment of Broadway and Friarsgate is the largest scheme seen in Winchester since the development of The Brooks. It is essential to the vitality and economic growth of the city and the project will make a very positive contribution."

Cllr Campbell emphasised that the Council retained considerable control over the project, and would be determining any planning application as the Local Planning Authority, which is separate from Cabinet confirming the Development Agreement.
She said that there will be plenty of opportunity for the public and organisations to comment on the proposals throughout the planning process.

Michael Capocci, Director of Thornfield Properties, is delighted to see the scheme finally reach this stage. "This is a truly exciting regeneration scheme that will provide an attractive, high quality, residential, retail and leisure development that will benefit the whole of the city centre," he said.

"We have been working closely with the City Council and key members of the community for the past five years to ensure the scheme meets the aspirations of the people of Winchester to produce a quality proposal. This is a key step in rebuilding a blighted area of the city and I hope a planning application will be submitted next year after we advance the design with our architectural team, having first consulted and listened to the wider community and its representatives."

The key elements of the Scheme are:
• 41new shop units
• 364 homes, including 127 affordable homes
• A new bus station and re-routing of buses to avoid pedestrianised areas of the city centre and the High Street
• New Friarsgate and St. Clement's medical centres
• Public squares, public art, landscaping and a new riverside walk
• Minimum of 279 public and 260 private car parking spaces
• A location for the weekly and Farmers' Markets