Winchester 'surprising spaces' redevelopment launched

image captionProtesters said a previous scheme did not take account of the city's "historical character"

Revised plans to rebuild parts of a city centre have been launched, after a previous scheme failed.

Winchester City Council cancelled the £150m Silver Hill scheme in 2016, after a dispute with a developer.

The draft plan for up to 300 flats, shops and public spaces is to be put out to public consultation on Monday.

It should evoke "Winchesterness" by creating "surprising spaces" and "irregularities" in streets and buildings, said the council.

More than £12m has been spent on the project since it began in the 1990s.

image source, Google
image captionThe council said parts of Winchester were "run-down and ugly"

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

In 2014, campaigners held a protest march arguing the plans failed to take account of the city's "historical character".

The following year, council leader Robert Humby resigned after the High Court ruled the authority had unlawfully allowed the scheme to be revised by a developer.

The council then cancelled its contract with developer TH Real Estate in February 2016, when work failed to progress.

image source, JTP
image captionThe council said new developments should evoke "Winchesterness" by including "irregular forms" and "surprising spaces"

Council leader Caroline Horrill said she was "absolutely optimistic" about the new blueprint from JTP.

She said it would allow "bit by bit" development of the 11-acre (45,000 square metre) site, instead of wholesale transformation by a single developer.

The blueprint, which has cost £230,000 to produce, also includes a parking review to reduce traffic and plans for new open spaces and walkways.

Ms Horrill said the council would invite planning applications after the final document was approved in the spring.

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