New vision for Silver Hill 2 shown to the public
Plans have been unveiled outlining the vision for the major regeneration of Winchester's city centre.
PLANS have been unveiled outlining the vision for the major regeneration of Winchester's city centre.
Silver Hill Two, officially known as the Central Winchester Regeneration (CWR) project, has been described as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” and aims to celebrate Winchester’s culture and heritage, as well as enhancing shopping, increasing the city’s residential capacity and promoting green methods of transport.
Councillor Caroline Horrill, Winchester City Council leader, said: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make positive changes and better use of the city centre area. We are determined to ensure that the development preserves Winchester’s character and protects and enhances its heritage.”
A draft supplementary planning document (SPD) for the project, which was unveiled to the public at a Winchester City Council meeting this week, outlined how the project will aim to create a “vibrant mixed-use quarter” that will “complement” the rest of city and create a sense of "Winchesterness".
The CWR area covers 4.5 hectares of land at the bottom of High Street and encompasses Upper Brook Street to the west, Friarsgate and Middle Brook Street car park to the North, St John's Almshouses and Lower Brook stream to the east and the Broadway and lower High Street to the south.
In that space, Winchester City Council aims to provide space for shopping, working, living, leisure, culture and heritage through a mix of quiet riverside walks and active shopping streets, as well as providing various types of housing in the city centre.
The draft SPD, created by architects JPT, outlined how areas to the west, including The Brooks Shopping Centre, and Middle Brook Street would be used for retail and cafes, while Tanner Street, Silver Hill and the area near the antiques market would become the mixed-use area for leisure, culture, retail and office space.
Land to the east would then be used for housing.
The draft SPD also outlined how the project would reduce the demand on the city’s transport network by prioritising pedestrians and cyclists, working in conjunction with the Winchester Movement Strategy, which is currently under consultation until December 8.
Unlike the previous multi-million pound Silver Hill scheme which collapsed, the CWR project aims to complete the regeneration works without the need for compulsory purchase orders (CPOs), which one member of the public pointed out could be a hurdle for the council.
Cllr Horrill said: "Part of our job is to have conversations with landowners, we are happy to engage and work collaboratively. If those dealings don't work, we will have to reconsider."
When asked what the council had taken from the previous Silver Hill project, Cllr Horrill added: "Listen, listen, listen.
"The consultations have been fantastic and that makes a difference. We are listening to what people want.
"[JPT] have spoken to over 1,500 people; residents, visitors, students, families – it's all hugely important."
The next stage in the project will be be drop-in exhibition, which will be held on November 14, to give members of public a chance to view the plans in greater detail before they go to cabinet to begin the formal consultation process on December 11.
A final SPD will be approved in spring/summer 2018 by Winchester City Council’s cabinet.