WINCHESTER is about to embark on a public consultation over the regeneration of central Winchester, better known as Silver Hill.

Most readers are familiar with the collapse of the scheme last year, after the city council lost patience with the developer’s changes to the £150 million scheme.

Now is a chance for a fresh start which hopefully will lead to a set of proposals that will broadly find public favour even if unanimity is impossible.

We would urge everyone to get involved with the council’s efforts to ask the public what they want to see from the development.

But we have our doubts. There does seem to be an irreconcilable gap between the view of many Wintonians that the previous scheme was too big and the city council and potential developers who will argue that whatever is proposed must be profitable enough to be economically viable.

The council has made a good start by employing JTP Architects who have a track record in ‘place-making’ involving people in developing places with a human heart.

The main issue seems to be how to include the high level of car parking. Those with long memories will recall previous developer Mike Capocci insisting the flats at Silver Hill would have limited parking. There is no definite reason why the new scheme should have so much. We will see.