City of Winchester Trust
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EXTRACT FROM WINCHESTER LOCAL PLAN (PRE-SUBMISSION) PART2

3.7.13 Station Approach Area: The area around Winchester Station, including the former Cattlemarket area, is on a number of key transport routes, but the area does not fulfil its potential to provide a vibrant entrance into the town centre, and contains a number of vacant and under-used sites and properties. The City Council has assessed the potential for viable development in this area in order to maximise the benefits for the City as a whole ( Winchester Station Approach Development Assessment; Tibbalds, Nov 2013 & Sept 2014).

This includes:
• identifying the most suitable mix and broad scale of uses;
• identifying the main sites with potential for development/redevelopment;
• identifying important constraints and urban design/access principles;
• clarifying the landowners’ intentions, site availability and likely timescales for development.

3.7.14 The assessments have enabled the Council to develop a number of strategic aspirations, which are to:
• ensure the area around the Station enhances the economic vitality of the city, offering improved employment opportunities;
• create a high quality and welcoming arrival point and improve wayfinding and legibility so that people find their way to the city centre and other key destinations;
• create an area that serves a variety of people and builds on and adds to the existing commercial and cultural life in the city;
• improve the aesthetic and environmental impact of the area, including the retention of important trees and new planting;
• safeguard and enhance views and the character of the area;
• repair the urban fabric and create a cohesive high quality townscape, and public realm.

3.7.15 Based on the above aspirations for the area, studies and market assessments have been undertaken to test options, around a common concept of:
• creating commercial office hubs on the Carfax and Cattlemarket site;
• improve permeability for pedestrians and cyclists, including linkages to the station, through the sites and to key destinations;
• broadly retain the existing car parking levels within the area and provide sufficient parking for the new development;
• strengthen the existing local centre around Andover Road;
• achieving active frontages by providing a variety of uses at ground floor level along key routes;
• providing a mix of houses and flats;
• creating and providing quality public spaces.

3.7.16 An overall planning response has been developed to address issues of access, car parking level changes, views and key design principles to ensure that proposals come forward through a comprehensive plan led approach, taking into account local constraints. The matters set out in Policies WIN5-WIN7 below are intended to be comprehensive but not prescriptive, building on local character and an understanding of the complex relationships between the many elements that make up the built environment in this locality.

3.7.17 The overall aim is not only to regenerate this neighbourhood but also to create buildings and spaces which both individually and in combination form an attractive public realm. To successfully integrate new development into the environment it is necessary to have a full understanding of its local context, therefore proposals will be required to undertake detailed analysis of the setting of the building / site in terms of traffic activities and land use, built form, skylines and views, landscape and visual relationship with the locality and wider setting.

3.7.18 The area can be split into two prime sites, the Carfax site adjoining the station, and the Cattlemarket and the Winchester Club, both of which could be designed and developed separately. Other sites in this area might also come forward for development and Policy WIN5 sets out the general principles for development within the overall Station Approach Area. The purpose of WIN5 is to set out general parameters for new development that will contribute to and stimulate regeneration within this part of Winchester. Site specific requirements for the Carfax site are set out in Policy WIN6 and for the Cattlemarket site in Policy WIN7. Development in this area will also need to respond to the aims of the Vision for Winchester as set out at para 3.1.5.

3.7.19 The following policies do not seek to prescribe a set amount of floorspace for the different uses, but for the purposes of assessing urban design principles, transport issues and viability certain assumptions have been made in respect of what a scheme might deliver. It is expected that the area covered by Policy WIN5 has the capacity to deliver over 100 new dwellings, more than 16,000 sq.m of new office space, and sufficient car parking to maintain public parking provision and serve the new development. These are not firm targets and development proposals will need to take account of capacity of the sites within the area, the various planning requirements set out in respective policies in LPP1 and LPP2 and the need to deliver a viable scheme.

3.7.20 In addition to the following policies, schemes will also need to reflect the various strategies and specialist guidance that has been approved by the Council, such as the High Quality Places SPD and the Walking and Cycling Strategies. Whilst most of this area falls outside the designated Conservation Area, small parts lie within it and the boundary of the Conservation Area coincides in some instances with the area covered by Policies WIN5, WIN6 and WIN7. There is evidence that this part of Winchester lies within an area of significant archaeological potential and proposals will need to respond to this constraint and provide for mitigation as required by Policy DM25. Proposals will therefore need to reflect and be sympathetic to the heritage assets in the vicinity.

3.7.21 A key requirement for this area is the delivery of high quality development – to encourage excellence, innovation and creativity in design poor or mediocre proposals will be discouraged. Schemes should be compatible with the scale and character of the local environment in order to enhance the overall quality of the built environment, the attractiveness of the area for investment, economic regeneration and to reinforce civic pride and sense of place for the overall benefit of commercial interests and residents.

Policy WIN5 – Station Approach Area – Development Principles

Land in the Winchester Station area, as shown on the Policies Map, is suitable for an employment-led mixed use development comprising:
• offices, and other employment generating uses
• car parking
• open spaces
• leisure/culture
• small-scale retail
• residential, including exploring the potential to provide accommodation aimed at meeting the needs of older persons
• student housing on suitable sites
• hotel as part of a mixed use development.

Planning permission will be granted provided that detailed proposals accord with the Development Plan and:
(i) take a contextual approach which respects the characteristics of Winchester town, and relate positively to the conservation area and other heritage assets;
(ii) make a positive contribution towards improving the area as an entrance into the town centre, enhancing the public realm and improving pedestrian and cycling access within the area and to its surroundings;
(iii) clearly demonstrate a high standard of architectural design and use quality materials and detailing, through the creation of a design response that will deliver innovative, sustainable new buildings;
(iv) assess the impact of buildings over 3 storeys on views and adjoining areas and do not exceed 4-5 storeys in height, unless a taller building can be justified in townscape terms. Taller buildings are unlikely to be acceptable in close proximity to nearby residential properties;
(v) retain views of the treed skyline and other key historic features;
(vi) retain existing trees where they make a positive contribution towards enhancing local distinctiveness, and prepare a landscape framework to establish opportunities for new planting;
(vii) provide active street frontages to enhance the pedestrian environment, and promote the vitality and viability of the local centre along Andover Road;
(viii) are consistent with the Council’s adopted Parking Strategy and adopt a coordinated approach to the provision of carparking which ensures that the overall quantity of public parking spaces in the area is not reduced.

3.7.22 The area around the main entrance to the Station forms an important gateway into the town, but the spaces and buildings around the station are poorly defined and the overall experience of arrival is much diminished. Therefore there is an opportunity to create a sense of arrival on this key transport node, with improved pedestrian links and signage into the town centre. The opportunity should be taken to ensure that a properly integrated circulation/access scheme is developed for the required pedestrian, vehicular and public realm improvements around the Station forecourt. In developing proposals for this area, consideration should be given to the retention of the former Registry Office building. Whilst, this is not an absolute policy requirement as a more appropriate architectural statement could be provided by the way of a new building, it will be necessary for proposals to demonstrate delivery of a high quality scheme, along with an improved circulation area and public realm in front of the Station.

Policy WIN6 –The Carfax Mixed Use Site

Land at the Carfax site, as shown on the Policies Map, is allocated for a mixed-use development comprising offices (Use Class B1a), smallscale retail or leisure/cultural uses, residential accommodation, and car parking. Planning permission will be granted provided that detailed proposals accord with the Development Plan and:
(i) demonstrate a full understanding of the site constraints, context of the area, and show how the designs have responded to it;
(ii) provide a fitting entrance into the town centre, by enhancing and extending the public realm;
(iii) providing buildings of the highest design quality reflecting local distinctiveness;
(iv) retain and respect the Hampshire Record Office and Station buildings and test the feasibility of retaining and re-using the former Registry Office building and integrate these into the development proposals;
(v) respect the scale of the existing adjacent residential properties;
(vi) prioritise pedestrian routes through the site and links to the to town centre and other key destinations, improving provision for and integration of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.

3.7.23 The area formerly used as the Cattlemarket is now largely used as a car park; the building containing the Winchester Club is also within the site. As such the Cattlemarket is an under-used site which makes no contribution towards the townscape of the area. Important views of the Cathedral can be glimpsed from the northern part of the site adjoining the Andover Road. The site presents the opportunity to create an office hub to help diversify the local economy and building on the economic vitality of the town. The site is well located to public transport routes, and within walkable distance of the town centre. It is recognised that the parking provision in this location is attractive to some long stay users, who might otherwise travel into one of the more central car parks which are primarily aimed at shoppers and visitors.

Policy WIN7 – The Mixed Use Site

Land at the Cattlemarket site, as shown on the Policies Map, is allocated for a mixed use development comprising offices (Use Class B1a) and other commercial uses, residential accommodation, and car parking. Planning permission will be granted provided that detailed proposals accord with the Development Plan and:
(i) proposals should demonstrates a full understanding of the site constraints, context of the area, and show how the designs have responded to it;
(ii) any proposals to develop part of the site should clearly demonstrate a comprehensive approach to ensure that the development of part of the site does not compromise the development of the remainder;
(iii) provide a fitting entrance to this part of the town, by improving the public realm, improving pedestrian and cycling access, including through the site;
(iv) proposals should include a high quality creative design response to the junction of Andover Road and Worthy Lane;
(v) define the extent and significance of any archaeological remains and provide for their preservation or recording, as appropriate;
(vi) ensure that the scale of the development respects and is not overbearing for nearby residential and other properties.

3.7.24 The Council has prepared planning frameworks for a number of neighbourhoods in Winchester Town at Stanmore, Abbotts Barton and Winnall. These frameworks have a broader remit than spatial planning and will be used by the Council to inform decision making processes, including planning. For this reason they have not been adopted as supplementary planning documents, but are a material consideration in the planning process.