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Chairman's Jottings - TrustNews Sep 18

Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days this year are on the 13th until the 16th September. This has proved to be a really successful venture in Winchester since Nicky Gottlieb and Becky Brown took on the organisation of the event – so successful that the two of them are now ?nding it difficult to keep their heads above water! We were invited by the two of them to help, a call which was happily responded to. The organisation is responsible for a full year's activities accelerating from April onwards to its conclusion every September. Help therefore would be greeted with open arms for 2019 and beyond, as it is now a permanent and popular fixture in Winchester’s calendar, which draws many people from both the locality and beyond. It is a venture which is great for Winchester, so we just need more peoplepower to help capitalise on the popularity of the event.

Meeting with Steve Brine MP

Steve Brine, our Member of Parliament, invited two of us to visit him in the Houses of Parliament in order to discuss the City of Winchester Trust’s attitude towards the on-going development proposals that affect the City. Our MP is obviously well informed about the City and the concerns of its citizens. The discussion ranged over housing, the development proposals in central Winchester, the Leisure Centre and the sites that were likely to come into focus at Sir John Moore Barracks and Bushfield Camp. We also discussed the overarching question of the traffic movement strategic study which is currently underway and being prepared by Hampshire County Council.

Meeting with Winchester City Council

We recently had a meeting with Councillor Caroline Horrill and the team responsible for delivering the way in which the Central Area is proposed to move forward from the ‘Master Plan’ to the building stage. Much of the way forward has been in the general public's wish list. The proposal is to divide up the site into areas that can be developed incrementally with different designers and developers involved in each, as well as keeping the listed ex-antiques centre and considering a national class museum.

Winchester City Council has decided to keep and refurbish the former NHS building Coitbury House. All these proposals are subject to the economics working satisfactorily. The City authority recognise that it will be a difficult task to deliver the way forward that they envisage; the team made responsible for evolving the master plan have the tricky task of making the proposals work as a civic space, to be viable economically, as well as delivering a great addition to Winchester of which we can all be proud.

Development in and around Winchester

I have written about the development areas in and around Winchester several times, so for these jottings, I will just set out how we consider that they are progressing.

1. The Central Area (Silver Hill)

This now has a strategic plan with an adopted SDP (Supplementary Development Plan), which is tacked on to the local plan part 2 (LPP2). We understand the proposal is to parcel up the site with zones so that the zoned sites can be developed individually over a period of time. The methods by which this is going to be achieved is currently under consideration and headed up by the recently appointed Director of Place.

2. The Carfax site (Station Approach)

This is well under way with a strategic plan and content proposals being evolved by Lifschutz Davidson and Sandilands. We think that the proposals we have seen so far look very promising. The car parking requirement has been substantially reduced which must be a considerable aid to reducing the scale of the development.

3. The Cattle-Market Site

This has had some consideration but not yet in any great detail. This will be focused on later, once the Carfax site exercise is concluded.

4. The Leisure Centre (Bar End)

This is progressing through the planning application process, this interesting scheme was submitted last month.

5. Kings Barton Housing

The scheme seems to be progressing very slowly. We understand that the school towards the centre of the overall scheme has been put back a year, presumably as insufficient houses are being completed and therefore families have not been forthcoming.

6. Bushfield Camp

Bushfield Camp to the south of Winchester is showing signs of coming to life again with Deloittes‘ latest ideas about to be presented to the public.

7. Movement Study

Finally, we are aware that the movement strategy being considered by Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council is well under way. We are aware that those responsible for developing sites in and around Winchester are being advised by the County on how the strategy is likely to be implemented, but we have yet to hear when the authorities‘ final proposals are to be broadcast to the public.

Artist's impression of new Leisure Centre

Keith Leaman