BARRICADES have been installed in Winchester following fears that the city could be hit by a Nice-style terror attack, under plans for a major redevelopment of the city centre.

As previously reported, 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 Linda 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 city council, in a joint statement with the county council and Winchester Business Improvement District, said that bollards were being installed to counter a potential terrorist attack using vehicles.

Today, a number of the barricades have been placed along High Street.

A spokeswoman said: “In common with many other town centres across the UK, temporary barriers will be installed in Winchester to ensure shopkeepers, residents and visitors feel reassured during the busy festive season.

“Installations of this kind are increasingly considered ‘business as usual’ for any event which involves high footfall and our footfall increases significantly across the city during the run up to Christmas.”

Catherine Turness, chief executive of Winchester BID, added: “Winchester is a special place at Christmas and these temporary barriers minimise businesses and visitors concerns when visiting our city.”

Temporary obstacles had already been installed in the Outer Close.

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 went to the council’s cabinet yesterday for approval to begin formal consultations. A launch exhibition will be held on Monday, December 11 2pm-9pm at the Guildhall.