THE spotlight will be thrown on the potentially massive redevelopment of the Winchester railway station area.

A meeting is being held this Thursday, march 7, to hear how the area around the station could change.

Civic groups, the City of Winchester Trust and Winchester Action on Climate Change, are hosting the event for their members at the United Church in Jewry Street Street on March 7 from 6.30pm.
The Chronicle revealed last year how developers see the area between Gladstone Street, Andover Road, Stockbridge Road and the Cattle Market car park as under-used.

The speakers are two local architects who will be suggesting ideas, David Ashe of CH Design and Paul Bulkeley of SNUG Projects.

Mr Bulkeley told the town forum in November that the arc from the station to the Cattle Market was ripe for development, but that public benefit could be lost unless the city council draws up a masterplan to harness the ambitions of developers and make them pay for improvements to the public realm and transport.

Most of the land is owned by Winchester City Council, Hampshire County Council and Network Rail.

Mr Bulkeley believes that as the area is in a bowl new buildings could be some seven storeys high without imposing on the historic city centre.

Several business developers are interested in building large offices aimed at attracting major firms.

Railways in southern England are set for a huge boost when the line from the Midlands through Oxford to Hampshire is electrified by 2019. That opens the prospect of an increase in passenger numbers to places like Winchester.