Consultants launch first steps for revamp of Winchester Railway Station area (From Hampshire Chronicle)
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Consultants launch first steps for revamp of Winchester Railway Station area
THE first steps are being taken in what could eventually be a multi-million pound revamp of the Winchester railway station area.
The city council has appointed consultants Tibbalds to draw up a preliminary assessment that establishes land values and suggests ideas and improvements.
Ideas suggested over the last 12 months have included new offices to attract a nationally-known firm to set up their headquarters in the city, housing, and a new theatre.
David Ashe, director of Winchester architects CH Design Partnership, based in Hyde Street, has been pushing for a coordinated approach which will enhance the city.
Mr Ashe said what is currently a slightly drab area with car parks and underused spaces could be transformed into a ‘gateway’ to the city.
He hopes the major landowners, the city and county councils and Network Rail can work together to improve the area and prevent long-term blight.
Tibbalds have held meetings with various interested parties including city council leader Keith Wood, council planners, the City of Winchester Trust and WinACC and Winchester BID.
The area being studied stretches from Upper High Street through to the Carfax, Stockbridge Road,to the Cattle Market off Andover Road.
Mr Ashe said: “We are pleased with the way things are going, the first steps are encouraging.”
He said he hoped the city council would not consider selling the Cattle Market car park which has long been eyed by developers, including Waitrose back in the 1990s.
“I hope they don’t hold a fire sale and dispose of the land quickly. They will get more in the long run if there is a credible vision in place for the whole area, which will encourage developers.”
Mr Ashe said it was important that the city council maintains a coordinating role. Engaging with the public will also be vital.
Steve Tilbury, corporate director at the city council, said: “The council is not proposing any sale at all, let alone a fire sale.”
Mr Tilbury added that a report on parking strategy, due out this week for the Cabinet meeting on September 11, would look at future use of council car parks. Gladstone Street and the Cattle Market are both inside the area being studied.
He said; “We want to make sure we have got parking that serves the appropriate use in the right places. The Cattle Market is not much used by shoppers but is quite well used by people who work at Denplan. We feel the Cattle Market is not punching its weight. You come down Andover Road, there’s an opportunity there.”
The overall aim for the Station Approach area was to provide a “vision” and give clarity to landowners. “We are not going to take control in the way as with Silver Hill,” ssaid mr Tilbury.
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