A NEW planning application for the £130 million Silver Hill development is expected in the New Year.

The new plans will see more space for shops and a change to the proposed replacement bus station.

But Winchester City Council, the co-developer, says the scheme will largely be the same and the plans will just be “tweaked.”

The scheme for the regeneration of a chunk of the city centre has been on the cards for more than 20 years and got planning permission in 2009. The council and Henderson Global Investors have been completing the compulsory purchase of the land.

A council spokeswoman said: “The council are working with the developer Henderson and taking expert advice to look at the approved scheme, as circumstances have changed in the last four years.

“In particular, Stagecoach has indicated that they may not require a traditional bus station as currently provided. Provision for bus passengers will remain a key part of the scheme, but the way this is achieved may be modified. This then creates the opportunity to ensure that the scheme reflects the best solution to improve Winchester’s retail environment.”

She said the proposed flats were also being reviewed. “The way in which residential floorspace is divided up into individual units is also being looked at again in the light of the changing housing market.

“The overall layout of the scheme will remain broadly the same but we have the opportunity to review aspects of building design and ensure we have the highest quality public spaces. Full public consultation on any revisions will also take place.”

The council is keen to stress that it sees the new application as a relatively minor revision and not a green light for new ideas.

Henderson last week opposed M&S plans for a new food store on Easton Lane, Winnall.

In a letter to the planners, Henderson said: “The requirements of Marks and Spencer can be fully accommodated within the Silver Hill proposals and therefore any consent to an out of centre location at this time would be damaging to the viability of the Silver Hill development and in our view to the town centre as a whole.”

Meanwhile a date for the High Court hearing for a legal challenge against the scheme has yet to be set.

London & Henley, which owns a large chunk of the site, is fighting the approval of the compulsory purchase order approved by Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government in early 2013.

See story about M&S plans on page 4.