COUNCILLORS have urged those behind the revival of a major scheme in Winchester to keep environmental considerations in mind as the project progresses.

The multi-million pound Station Approach project moved a step closer at the end of August when Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands were appointed as the new architects.

Last year the controversial plan to redevelop the area near the train station collapsed when city councillors voted against an architect that won a design competition.

But in January the council earmarked £150m for the development, which aims to provide more grade A office space.

At the cabinet Station Approach committee on Tuesday, Cllr Eleanor Bell urged the architects and project managers to keep in mind issues including traffic and air quality.

Cllr Liz Hutchison added that parking and having vehicles in the area generally needed to be considered, and that access by foot and cyclists should be “integral” to the strategy.

“That was one of the major problems flagged up with the last scheme,” she said.

Estates officer Kevin Warren replied: “Designs are to be tested with the Highways Authority to try and reduce traffic. By the time of the next meeting we will be in a position to explain the direction of travel, which will be very interesting. In my mind all of the things that have been mentioned previously of concern to members are being addressed.”

The project brief currently says Station Approach should contribute towards the council’s objectives to build a “low carbon economy”.

The committee also heard that a joint venture between the city council and others could be possible.

Mr Warren said: “ I think issues like Brexit have begun to be quite accepted within the market. The market is now saying to us it would like to do this development. There are around five to six options available to the council. We are having to find a method that will allow the council to maintain a degree of influence on the site.”

Cllr Ian Tait said he was confident that new architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands “don’t have their heads in the clouds. They exude confidence and I buy into that,” he added.

The council plans to organise a number of public engagement events including a two-day open event to be held at the end of January and the beginning of February.

Further public exhibitions are also to be held in March.