First virtual public consultation sees strong local engagement around Central Winchester plans

Winchester City Council held its first ever online public consultation session this week, with local residents and businesses attending the 90 minute session on the draft development proposals for the Central Winchester Regeneration area.

Following a presentation of the proposals by Veryan Lyons, Head of Programme for the project, questions from the public were taken and answered by members of the project team and Winchester City Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management, Cllr Kelsie Learney.

Questions to the team covered a wide range of topics, including how the scheme might be delivered, how long it might take and the possible impact on the road network. An interactive element to the session showed over half of those participants who answered the questions were most excited about creative and cultural spaces included in the draft proposals and over 70% said they felt excited, interested or optimistic about the plans.

This was the first of four public sessions that will be taking place as part of the consultation on the Central Winchester Regeneration proposals. Proposals to develop the site, which incorporates Winchester Bus Station, Kings Walk, the old Friarsgate Medical Centre and Coitbury House, include creating a vibrant mixed-use development with high quality new homes, flexible workspaces, a thriving night-time economy and beautiful public spaces.

The sessions are open to all, simply register for a place by visiting the Winchester City Council website (www.winchester.gov.uk/cwr). The next session will take place on Thursday 24 November at 6pm, with a further two planned for Monday 30 November at 6pm and Thursday 3 December at 10am. A virtual exhibition room displaying every element of the scheme with plans and images and a questionnaire for people to share their feedback are also available on the council website (Www.winchester.gov.uk/cwr). Over 1500 people have already visited the virtual exhibition in the first week.

Cllr Kelsie Learney, Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management said:

“Being part of the first ever online public consultation session hosted by the council was a landmark occasion – it demonstrates that whatever the circumstances we are determined to keep listening and involve as many residents and businesses as possible as we move forward with our exciting plans for development. We’ve already received feedback from people of all ages and backgrounds, helping ensure we get a fair representation of local views.

I’m delighted people were able to join us ‘virtually’, and that the participants of the session showed so much interest and enthusiasm for bringing life back to this underused part of our beautiful city.”