Dealing with central Winchester regeneration

Press Release: 19/09/2016

The regeneration of the area of central Winchester around the bus station and Friarsgate buildings needs a fresh approach, says the Deputy Leader of the City Council Cllr Victoria Weston.

The aim is to establish a new vision for redevelopment that will reinvigorate Winchester’s town centre with a mix of commercial, residential and cultural activity and improve local services.

The principle and broad scope of development in this area of the city has been set out in the City Council’s emerging Local Plan. Now the Council is looking to put the detail into the plans by producing a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which establishes the way in which different uses will fit together on the site.

Cllr Victoria Weston, Winchester City Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Built Environment, is chairing the Central Winchester Regeneration Informal Policy Group (IPG). The group had its first meeting on Tuesday 13 September.

Cllr Weston said:

This process allows us to take a new look at the way in which this important part of Winchester can be regenerated. We will involve local residents and businesses throughout the process and we understand that needs to include people across the District who visit Winchester for work, leisure and local services. The principle of mixed uses on the site including retail and residential development is set out in the Local Plan. Working together we can add the detail so that we don’t have to wait another 20 years before we have a town centre we can be completely proud of again.

I want to ensure that the public and stakeholders play an active part in the process and are at the centre of all discussions to arrive at a shared vision for this part of the city.

This includes asking the Winchester Town Forum to help ensure that we run a really effective community engagement process over the next few months. We’ll also be commissioning technical advice from people who are expert in their field and looking carefully at how we can attract the appropriate commercial interest to make development happen in accordance with our wishes.

Cllr Weston added:

When asked to take on this role at short notice my first task was to ensure that there is an inclusive and transparent process and a real sense of momentum. A schedule of meetings has been agreed and these are listed on the website. The public will be welcome at all formal meetings and informal workshop meetings. While we will include public participation at formal meetings, informal workshop meetings will not include a slot for public participation but we will be listening to feedback.

The first workshop meeting will be held on Monday 3 October 2016 in the Walton Room at the Guildhall from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

Meetings of the Informal Policy Group are scheduled for Tuesday 18 October 2016, Tuesday 8 November 2016, Tuesday 6 December 2016 and Wednesday 18 January 2017 all at 6pm in the Walton Room at the Guildhall.