Station Approach development

City councillors have decided to look again at options for developing the Station Approach area of Winchester.

A full meeting of Winchester City Council (July 20) decided not to endorse a previous Cabinet decision for development of the area around the station.

Despite strong evidence of the need for Grade A office space and that up 20,000 more people would be looking for jobs in Winchester during the next 15 years, the Council was concerned that the proposed scheme would not be right for Winchester.

The Cabinet was told that the scheme would create more than 1,000 local jobs and safeguard hundreds more with businesses that want to expand in Winchester but cannot find the office space to do so.

The opportunity to support the local economy is driving the Cabinet to look at what needs to be done to move the development forward successfully, taking members and the public with them.

Cllr Stephen Godfrey, the Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

The provision of modern office space in the centre of Winchester is really important to the business community. While this delay is unwelcome, we will take the opportunity to strengthen the scheme and bring it back in a better form in the near future. The Council is working with Hampshire County Council on transport issues and movement around the city. This work will be reflected in the Station Approach proposals.

There is widespread support for the principle of developing the area, but there remain significant differences about exactly how this ought to be achieved. The whole Council wants to make sure that any proposals work for Winchester and help Winchester to work.