Consented scheme approved December 2014

Silver Hill plan, looking towards The Guildhall

The Silver Hill regeneration project will transform the run down and ugly area of Winchester town centre between the bus station and Friarsgate, with homes, shops and public spaces. It is not an inward looking shopping centre but a fully integrated network of new streets fully linked into the existing town centre. It is remaking an area which has become unwelcoming and unattractive not just for commercial use, but as a place that people will live in and enjoy.

The additional retail space will reinforce the strength of Winchester’s town centre and complement our thriving independent retail sector. Winchester needs additional shops to meet the demands of a growing population and to save people from travelling further afield. There are retailers who want to come to Winchester but can’t find suitable premises. The changing way in which they do business means we have to provide opportunities for them if we’re going to maintain our enviable town centre.

New homes will create a town centre community, not only providing homes that we need in the area, but also boosting the local economy for service providers, café and restaurants and our creative businesses.

Planning permission for the redevelopment was granted in 2009. All aspects of the development were thoroughly debated, discussed and considered before the Council agreed it could go ahead. The economic recession of the last five years put the scheme on hold, but since then the Council has worked hard with the company now backing the development, TIAA Henderson Real Estate, to update the scheme to ensure that it meets the requirements of the city centre. This includes adapting the scheme because Stagecoach, who own and run the existing bus station, no longer want to have a replacement provided.

The Council resolved to grant planning consent for the revised scheme on 11 December 2014. The Council is awaiting the outcome of a referral to the Secretary of State before a decision notice can be issued. Silver Hill has been a long time in preparation and a great deal of care has been taken over its design, content and impact. The purpose of the Silver Hill scheme has always been about regeneration and ensuring that Winchester’s commercial status and special character is maintained.