Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Winchester Silver Hill contract is terminated

Silver Hill artist's impression Image copyright Winchester City Council
Image caption The city centre redevelopment was planned to include homes, shops and public spaces

A contract for a £150m project for 200 homes, shops, public spaces and a new bus station has been scrapped.

The Silver Hill development in Winchester had already been the subject of a High Court battle and led to the resignation of a council leader.

Now the council has scrapped the contract with TH Real Estate, which had been given a deadline of 9 February to meet contract conditions.

The developer said it was "disappointed" by the decision.

Permission for the development, in what the city council described as a "rundown and ugly" area of Winchester, was granted in 2009.

Last year the High Court ruled the council had acted unlawfully by allowing the developer to revise the plans without putting the scheme back out to commercial tender.

The ruling led to the resignation of council leader Robert Humby.

'End of agreement'

Current leader Stephen Godfrey said TH Real Estate had failed to give "any evidence to fulfil their obligations to build out the current scheme" by the cut-off date.

The authority said it had therefore given notice to terminate the contract.

Mr Godfrey said: "And that will be the end of our agreement with the developer.

"I'm sorry residents of Winchester have not received the benefits they should have done by now. It will be another three, five, 10 years before the full benefits can be realised by a new scheme."

TH Real Estate, previously known as Hendersons, said: "We are naturally very disappointed at the council's decision and will be considering our position once we have received formal notification."

The Conservative-run council has been looking at developing the area since the late-1990s.

It is estimated expenditure on the development to date has reached more than £12m. The authority said it expected most of the cost "to be borne by the developer".

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