Key milestones for future of Silver Hill

Press Release: 17/06/2015

Silver Hill from the roof of Friarsgate car park

Two key milestones for the future of Silver Hill in Winchester take place within a week.

On Thursday 18 June an ‘extraordinary meeting’ of Winchester City Council called at the request of seven councillors will discuss termination of the development agreement as allowed under the terms. The agreement is with ‘Silver Hill Winchester No.1 Ltd’ - the developer TH Real Estate, formerly known as Henderson.

The recommendation from the Leader of the Council, Cllr Stephen Godfrey, is that the Council considers it is not in the best interests of Winchester for it to issue a notice of termination.

On Thursday 25 June the full Council and Cabinet will consider whether the three tests in the development agreement have been met, allowing the agreement to become ‘unconditional’ and go ahead. The tests relate to a registered housing provider, a funder and financial viability of the scheme.

Cllr Stephen Godfrey said:

After more than 18 years we are reaching the moment of truth on the future of Silver Hill.

I believe that our decisions must be based on what is best for Winchester. After listening to all the advice and opinion, councillors must judge whether the scheme on the table is right for our city. Does it regenerate a run-down part of the city, provide affordable housing, retail opportunities and a GPs’ surgery, cater for public transport, deliver appropriate architecture, improve the public realm and – importantly – can it be funded?

This is a decision for the Council’s Cabinet, but because of the significance of the issues and level of interest it is important that full Council has a chance to debate and express its view. This will inform Cabinet’s decision.

If the Council wishes to terminate the agreement then it must issue a notice of termination to the developer giving clear and defensible reasons. However, that does not lead to automatic termination because the agreement allows the developer 20 working days to satisfy outstanding conditions. The information already provided by the developer aiming to meet the three tests must be assessed and, if it satisfies those conditions, the agreement would become unconditional notwithstanding the notice to terminate.