City of Winchester Trust
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Chairman's Jottings - TrustNews Mar 17

Thanks to Mollie and Janet, the Heritage Centre has recently been transformed. Accumulated and redundant paper has been dumped and the former two rooms have been reversed so the new office area looks really efficient, and everything works much better. Our thanks to both of them for undertaking this major overhaul.

RE-EVALUATED SCHEMES

Most members will no doubt be aware of the rumblings concerning Silver Hill and Station Approach. The central area of Winchester, which includes Silver Hill is about to be considered by J.W. Thompson Associates. This firm of architects has specialised in involving the public in the planning process and has delivered well- thought-out schemes around the U.K. So it should be interesting to see how they approach the Silver Hill area with its recent fractious history. Already it has been suggested their area of remit is not wide enough; for example, I understand the Broadway was not included - it is now!

The two sites that constitute Station Approach, namely Carfax and Cattle Market, are also to be re-evaluated by means of a new competition. This time, RIBA are helping with the way in which the competition process is structured and we hope that the process will be more flexible allowing for revisions to be made as the schemes progress alter the initial selection process.

VEHICLE/PEOPLE MOVEMENT STRATEGY

With all the potential development that is earmarked for the near future, l find it difficult to understand why what seems to me a fundamental requirement - a vehicle/people movement strategy - is not put in hand. This seems vitally important when you consider major developments at Silver Hill, Station Approach, Barton Farm, the new Recreation Centre and potential development at Flowerdown and Bushfield Camp. Vehicle movement in particular is already creating problems in central Winchester, so surely growing Winchester by at least 25% is likely to create an unpleasant, frustrating environment. Only with good planning could this be alleviated, and make Winchester a place to appreciate and enjoy the assets that the City has in abundance.

I see Steve Brine, our MP, is calling for WCC to show leadership in order to deliver development and give confidence to developers, so that they are able to perform. I personally agree with the basic sentiments, but it's not just developers, it’s the citizens of Winchester as well. You need to bring together all the ingredients that provide the necessary information to prepare a good brief. The briefing documents are really important as they provide the basis for a successful conclusion to the whole process of delivering a satisfactory outcome.

60th ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRUST

This year is the 60th anniversary of the Trust and the 50th anniversary of ‘conservation areas’. For the 60th anniversary we thought a bumper issue of the Trust News should mark the event. Now we have to look around for some fabulous articles and art work appropriate for this auspicious event!

For the ‘Conservation Area’ event, we have already asked the Conservation Officers Department to take two walks around twoselected areas of the city to discuss and consider whether the original aims of this legislation have been successful or not. The walks will be part of a programme of walks put together by Paul Williams. I should like to take this opportunity to thank Paul as l know that organising these walks is hard work and sometimes frustrating, but when it comes together as an informative ramble around areas of the city how rewarding it is too.

Keith Leaman