A PLANNING condition which prevented a disused medical centre in Winchester being turned into housing has now been removed.

TH Real Estate (THRE), who were the developer that were dropped by Winchester City Council, had proposed to remove a planning condition on the Friarsgate Medical Centre.

The centre, is owned by THRE, and the city council had previously commissioned a valuation of the building.

The planning condition, which the city council planners have agreed to remove, states that the building should only be used for purposes within class B1, or simply put it could only be redeveloped as offices.

Now this condition, has been agreed to be removed by the council, it could pave the way for the former medical centre to become housing.

But not everyone is happy with this, as one objector said that the developer should have applied to build housing on the site months ago.

Mr Tim Fell, wrote: “:The case set out in the Planning Statement by Goadsby on behalf of the applicant is entirely specious.

“If TH Real Estate wanted to build housing on this site, why did it not apply for permission to do that back in September, rather than applying to convert the existing building into offices? The answer is surely obvious: because it knew that such an application would be refused.

“So this application must be refused too. It must not be forgotten that TH Real Estate is a front for a hedge fund which lost substantial amounts of money in its abortive attempt to maximise its profit in the regeneration of central Winchester.

“ A hedge fund's only duty is to maximise its profits: TH Real Estate has no interest whatsoever in the housing (or office) needs of Winchester. This application is all about money, and nothing else, and must be refused."