CONCERNS have been raised by a Winchester councillor about the risks of a Nice-style terror attack on the city during a discussion about a major regeneration project.

Plans for the Silver Hill 2 scheme, officially known as the Central Winchester Regeneration Project (CWR), were praised by members of Winchester City Council's overview and scrutiny committee, but Cllr Lisa Gemmell questioned how the pedestrianisation of the city centre would affect Winchester's security.

Cllr Gemmell, Conservative member for the Central Meon Valley ward, said: "It illustrates beautifully the free movement of people through Winchester, but I'm aware of the implications that gives us as a terrorist target."

Following terror attacks in Nice in 2016, as well Westminster and Barcelona this year, which saw vehicles being driven at crowds of pedestrians, Cllr Gemmell added that under the CWR plans what was to stop terrorists driving a lorry past King Alfred's Statue and ploughing into pedestrians in The Broadway and High Street.

The comments were met with shock by a number of the committee members before Cllr Patricia Stallard, Conservative member for Denmead and Hampshire County Council's executive member for public health, said: "We are in discussions with the county council."

Winchester City Council leader Cllr Caroline Horrill echoed Cllr Stallard's comments, before the meeting was moved on without further comment on the issue.

As previously reported, a draft supplementary planning document (SPD), produced by architects JPT, was unveiled by the council in October.

The document sets out how the council aims to provide space for shopping, working, living, leisure, culture and heritage through a mix of quiet riverside walks and active shopping streets, as well as various types of housing around the Silver Hill area of the city.

The plans will now go forward to the city council's cabinet on Wednesday, December 6 for approval to begin formal consultations. A launch exhibition will then be held on Monday, December 11 between 2pm and 9pm at Winchester Guildhall.


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