Silver Hill takes another step forward

Press Release: 21/11/2005

Winchester City Council has received detailed documentation from Thornfield Properties seeking agreement, as a development partner to the City Council, to submit a planning application in respect of the Silver Hill site.  This moves the ambitious scheme for the regeneration of this run-down quarter of the city a step closer.

The application is for a scheme including:
102,451 sq ft of retail units
22,145 sq ft of office space
100 affordable residential units
185 private residential units
543 car park spaces including private and public
As well as a new youth venue, medical centre, bus station and Shopmobility facility.

The Council will now consider whether Thornfield's proposals for Silver Hill meet the requirements of the planning brief and development agreement signed in December 2004. The application will be considered by Cabinet, acting on behalf of the Council as a landowner, on 12 December and by full Council on 1 February.

If the Council gives the go-ahead, a planning application will be submitted in the Spring of next year.

The landowner application now before the Council consists of the scheme proposal (with financial details which are commercially confidential at this stage) and technical drawings and reports. Artist impressions of the scheme will be submitted shortly, and the Council will make them available to the public. A full public display of the final plans will be organised by the developer at the time the planning application is submitted.

There has been extensive consultation on the scheme over the past year, and Thornfield have responded by making changes to take account of many of the matters raised. The submission includes a Public Consultation Statement which explains the consultation undertaken, highlights the key issues raised about the proposed development during the consultation process and outlines the developer's response to these. 

The City of Winchester Trust, Chamber of Commerce and Winchester Residents Association have been actively involved in the local debate, and the developers have taken account of many of the points they made. The proposals have also received the support of English Heritage and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

The key changes to the scheme proposed by Thornfield following public comment are:

  • The size and shape of buildings has been varied to reflect the rich variety of buildings which make up Winchester.   Facades of buildings have been set in and out to create interest.
  • Detailed studies have been carried out to ensure that views of the Cathedral are conserved from various viewpoints  
  • The height and mass of the building on the corner of Friarsgate and Eastgate Street has been reduced to respect neighbouring houses and gardens.
  • The farmers and weekly markets have been given a new home in the Broadway and Silver Hill Square in order to provide more space and to improve servicing arrangements.
  • A landscaping scheme has been prepared to help to improve public realm.
  • Changes have been made to the medical centre, including provision for a foyer and the introduction of a 'drop off' facility adjacent to the car parking area.   These will help to make the centre more accessible.
  • Live/work units have been added to the buildings fronting Middle Brook Street and Silver Hill.
  • Increase in the proposed amount of office space in response to the needs of the business community
  • Public toilets have been provided.

Further changes may be made to the scheme, before the planning application is submitted as a result of discussions with the City Council over the next few weeks.

For more information on the public consultation including a copy of the PCS please visit the development website www.silverhill-winchester.info