Following the public Open Forum meeting held last week to update local residents and businesses on plans to revitalise the city centre, Winchester City Council will consider the next stage of the project at a Cabinet meeting to be held on 21 July 2021.

This stage for the project includes approving the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) undertaken by the Council. The purpose of the SOC is to assess the aims, options for delivery and preferred way forward for the proposed development site (the Defined Site), which is located within the Central Winchester Regeneration Supplementary Planning Document area. The next step will then be to undertake an Outline Business Case that will look in detail into the financial viability of the proposals.

Proposals for this phase of development incorporate 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.

While proposals for the defined site are developed further, the Council is working up and implementing plans to make short term improvements to the ground floor and public areas surrounding Kings Walk. This could include improved seating, areas for outdoor eating, drinking and public events, frontage improvements and new green spaces.

This month has also seen the first property guardians move into Coitbury House following a partnership between The LOWE Group and Winchester City Council. Coitbury House will now provide affordable housing to 16 young professionals and key workers after being transformed into short-term affordable guardian accommodation whilst plans for the wider site are finalised.

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

“We have waited many years to see the much needed transformation of this neglected part of our beautiful city. We have listened to our communities and believe these proposals will be a breath of fresh air for Winchester – complementing what is here already, providing new opportunities for jobs, new places to live and open space that all our residents can enjoy – all to the best possible environmental standards. We have carefully considered the options available to us for the best way to make this happen, and listened to the feedback from the public consultation held at the end of last year.

“We can now see a clear way forward on how to make these proposals become a reality. I am also very excited about the work planned for Kings Walk and the improvements that will be enjoyed by all who live, work and visit this area of the city”.