Winchester civic chiefs to look again at affordable housing at Silver Hill

Hampshire Chronicle: Silver Hill, on the left, looking down Middle Brook Street Silver Hill, on the left, looking down Middle Brook Street

WINCHESTER civic chiefs will rethink allowing a developer to scrap proving 100 affordable homes in the £150 million Silver Hill scheme.

The policy-making Cabinet will look again at seeking to retain a mix of housing in the major redevelopment in the city centre.

The developer Henderson wants to submit a new planning application, making significant change to a scheme that got planning permission in 2009.

Henderson desires to cut the number of homes from 307 to 184; remove affordable provision; remove the bus station; provide a department store; and cut public car parking from 330 to 279 spaces.

Last night at full Council, the ruling Conservatives accepted a Liberal Democrat amendment that seeks to retain the 35 per cent affordable housing in the scheme.

The decision will delay the final approval for Henderson to put in their new application. Henderson were unavailable for comment. Their stance on the new situation was unclear. They have said they will walk away unless they get their way as affordable housing makes the scheme unviable.

The main Silver Hill critic, Cllr Kim Gottlieb, attempted to get councillors to agree to an external review of the finances of the scheme but his amendment was defeated, 7 votes to 37. He said he was disappoited it was rebuffed but please the Cabinet will look again at affordable housing. "It makes sense to examine it again."

The meeting heard there was disquiet over doing away with the bus station and the evolving exclusive nature of Henderson's plans.

Labour group leader Chris Pines said: "I would hate this new scheme to become a gated community for the wealthy. We have to have an idea of inclusiveness."

He said it was likely that there would be no space in Silver Hill for Iceland and Poundland, currently in Middle Brook Street.

Lib Dem Robert Hutchison was unhappy to see fewer homes in the scheme. "We need more people living in the heart of Winchester. This was a golden opportunity to have more people living in the heart of Winchester."

Deputy council leader Victoria Weston said: "The scheme has changed for the better since Henderson took it on. They identified shortcomings and have introduced improvements."

The scheme would not be a concrete monolith but would include an elegant mix of flint and local bricks, she said.

Summing up, council leader Rob Humby said: "As you can see by us accepting the (Lib Dem) amendment affordable housing is a priority for us. We all care about Winchester."

For more on Silver Hill see the Chronicle next Thursday, July 24

Comments (4)

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9:57am Fri 18 Jul 14

adav1672 says...

Summing up, council leader Rob Humby said: "As you can see by us accepting the (Lib Dem) amendment affordable housing is a priority for us. We all care about Winchester."

If the Councillor wishes to have any credence given to his statement perhaps he will explain to the citizens of Winchester why the plan to have affordable housing was dropped from the old Fire Station development and why the Cabinet initially agreed to the removal of same from the Silver Hill development.
Summing up, council leader Rob Humby said: "As you can see by us accepting the (Lib Dem) amendment affordable housing is a priority for us. We all care about Winchester." If the Councillor wishes to have any credence given to his statement perhaps he will explain to the citizens of Winchester why the plan to have affordable housing was dropped from the old Fire Station development and why the Cabinet initially agreed to the removal of same from the Silver Hill development. adav1672
  • Score: 6

10:28am Fri 18 Jul 14

Francis1991 says...

"In a move worthy of George Orwell's Ministry of Truth, affordable rent will be higher than before, set at up to 80% of the local market rent. Across whole swathes of southern England affordable rented properties will simply not be affordable to people on low incomes."

http://www.theguardi
an.com/housing-netwo
rk/2014/feb/03/affor
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"In a move worthy of George Orwell's Ministry of Truth, affordable rent will be higher than before, set at up to 80% of the local market rent. Across whole swathes of southern England affordable rented properties will simply not be affordable to people on low incomes." http://www.theguardi an.com/housing-netwo rk/2014/feb/03/affor dable-housing-meanin g-rent-social-housin g Francis1991
  • Score: 3

3:44pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Shocked local resident says...

Great news the council is reconsidering affordable housing on this huge council-owned site in the city centre. Well done cllrs for sticking up for local people and not just doing as told by officers and developer keen to maximise profit at expense of public good. No affordable homes would have been contrary to council's own planning policy that 35 per should should be affordable. How could council then insist other developers should provide affordable homes eg police HQ. It could have been the end of affordable housing in Winchester.
Great news the council is reconsidering affordable housing on this huge council-owned site in the city centre. Well done cllrs for sticking up for local people and not just doing as told by officers and developer keen to maximise profit at expense of public good. No affordable homes would have been contrary to council's own planning policy that 35 per should should be affordable. How could council then insist other developers should provide affordable homes eg police HQ. It could have been the end of affordable housing in Winchester. Shocked local resident
  • Score: 4

10:15pm Sun 20 Jul 14

wheresthemoneygone says...

Come off it they take the citizens for mugs yet again. They've accepted the Liberal amendment : big deal - It's very clear where deputy leader councillor Victoria Weston and WCC stand: 1. Self 2. Big business.Not in the frame: ordinary citizens of Winchester.Sack this ridiculous rabble now.
Come off it they take the citizens for mugs yet again. They've accepted the Liberal amendment : big deal - It's very clear where deputy leader councillor Victoria Weston and WCC stand: 1. Self 2. Big business.Not in the frame: ordinary citizens of Winchester.Sack this ridiculous rabble now. wheresthemoneygone
  • Score: 2
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