* WINCHESTER residents got their first glimpse of what the new Silver Hill 2 scheme could look like after architects JTP unveiled their vision.

Featuring attractive buildings, exposed waterways and a new “mixed-use” quarter that includes areas for retail, cultural and community uses, along with housing for young and old, more than 150 people packed into Winchester Guildhall to see the plans.

JTP consulted more than 1,500 people and businesses over the preceding months to see how they wanted the area to be developed, with the ideas to be fed into a Supplementary Planning Document released later in the year.

The significant step in the project, officially known as the Central Winchester Regeneration project, followed the collapse of a joint £150m scheme between Winchester City Council and developer THRE in 2016.

* PROPOSALS were unveiled for a £1 million revamp of The Brooks Shopping Centre in a bid to boost its appeal to shoppers.

New attractive entrances and brighter lighting were among some of the improvements proposed following the investment by Catalyst Capital.

The shopping centre was also in talks with a number of gym operators to introduce a new franchise at the top of the building, with the aim of tapping into the city’s student population.

This followed the news that Argos were moving out of The Brooks to open a new digital store at Sainsbury’s in Badger Farm.

High street fashion chain TK Maxx announced that it would be moving into the vacant Beales unit at the shopping centre, marking a major addition which is due to open in the spring.

* THE new £10 bank note, now in circulation, was unveiled at Winchester Cathedral.

Featuring the face of author Jane Austin, the unveiling formed part of the events marking the 200th anniversary of her death.


* POLICE launched a hunt for a gun man after a terrifying daytime robbery at a Colden Common convenience store.

Children were among the customers at the Co-op store in St Vigor Way.

Police rushed to the scene after reports of a man holding up a cashier and demanding money.

Armed officers were seen in the area along with sniffer dogs and an arson task force van, while a police helicopter circled above.

Following the incident, police released CCTV images of the incident.

* IT WAS revealed that an overnight children’s respite centre in Winchester could close after a consultation was launched by Hampshire County Council.

Views were sought on proposals to shut Merrydale in Church Lane, Kings Worthy, which cares for young people with learning disabilities.

As of March 2017 there were 28 users and 24 members of staff. The mother of one young user said Merrydale was a “lifesaver”.

Protests are still ongoing in a bid to save the centre from closure.

* WINCHESTER’S Liberal Democrats called for a new hospital to be built at Sir John Moore Barracks when it closes in 2021.

The group said building on the site off Andover Road, near Littleton, would mean residents benefit from a large employer continuing to provide core medical services in the city.

The proposal was floated as an alternative to plans for a critical treatment centre at North Waltham, near Basingstoke, which were given the green light back in 2015 (but in November the critical treatment centre plans were shelved by health chiefs).

The Lib Dems say that the barracks would enable the critical treatment centre and a cancer centre to be built in conjunction, with a new hospital also incorporating parts of Basingstoke hospitals and therefore bringing savings to Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

If the new site was chosen, they added that the Royal Hampshire County Hospital on Romsey Road should close.


* A MAJOR Winchester transport hub saw its first bus since closing in July for a £400,000 revamp.

Civic and business chiefs had an early start to the day to see the vehicle drive through the ribbon, marking the reopening Winchester Bus Station.

The renovation gave the bus station a more open and pedestrian-friendly layout, with the aim of making it safer for all bus users, as well as improving real-time bus information.

The opening of the bus station also saw an overhaul of bus routes in the area.

* STAFF and volunteers providing charitable services at Winchester’s main hospital were told they could stay after previously told to leave.

The dismayed volunteers from the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) were told they would have to leave the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in October, some of whom had been working there for more than 30 years.

The decision would have affected 60 volunteers and three part-time paid staff.

But in a u-turn, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust confirmed an agreement with RVS to continue running the shop and trolley service.

The charity works across Hampshire to offer support to elderly people and have been involved at the hospital since 1941.

* FURIOUS motorists demanded to know why they were left stranded on the M3 after it was closed for more than 11 hours.

The M3 near Winchester was closed in both directions when police and bomb disposal experts examined “potentially

hazardous material” that was found in the carriageway between junctions 9 and 11.

Drivers faced travel chaos across south Hampshire as people tried to divert around the closure, with football fans struggling to get to Southampton for the clash with Manchester United.

A number of Winchester residents also reported gridlock around the city’s one-way system, which struggled to cope with the increased volume of traffic.

A Winchester teenager, who cannot be named for legal reason, was later charged over the incident by police.

* A CONTROVERSIAL scheme for 88 student flats was narrowly approved by city council planners.

The plans sparked anger among residents in Sparkford Road and Erskine Road.

Residents and councillors had concerns that the five-storey block would cause parking issues, anti-social behaviour and harm the character of the area.

The committee vote was a tie (four-four) with chairman Laurence Ruffell casting his deciding vote to approve the plans.


* A TEENAGER was charged after ‘flammable material’ was thrown from a motorway bridge causing 11 hours of travel chaos on the M3.

The 17-year-old boy, from Winchester, faced charges of arson with the intent to endanger life and causing danger to road users in connection with the incident on Saturday, September 23, as well as a similar incident on Saturday, September 16.

Police closed the M3 near Winchester and bomb disposal experts were called to investigate the “potentially hazardous material” that was found in the carriageway between junctions 9 and 11.

* TENS of thousands of racing fans from around the world descended on a circuit to witness the ‘Olympics of Motocross’.

Drivers were warned to expect heavy traffic as the Motocross of Nations came to Matterley Basin, near Winchester.

The competition is an amalgamation of three separate events: the original Motocross des Nations, raced with 500cc motorcycles; the Trophée des Nations, raced with 250cc motorcycles; and the Coupe des Nations, for 125cc motorcycles.

Historically Great Britain dominated the early years, before the competition became more fierce.

With the rise of motocross in North America from the 1970s, the USA embarked on a famous winning streak, lasting 13 years from 1981 to 1993.

An estimated 25,000 were in attendance on each day over the weekend on the chalk downland whose rolling shapes made for spectacular viewing.

* THE Winchester version of the famous board game Monopoly launched, selling out in many stores across the city.

But the special version of the family favourite disappointed many by featuring the city’s landmarks instead of its roads. A public vote ended with places such as the cathedral, Jane Austen’s house in College Street, King Alfred’s Statue and the Theatre Royal featuring in the board game. Homeless charity Trinity Winchester replaces Old Kent Road on the board.


* A HISTORIC atlas of Winchester was launched at a reception hosted by the city council.

The sixth volume in the British Historic Town Atlas was constructed using maps, photographs and illustrations – many of which were being published for the first time.

The Atlas, which is also the 11th volume in the Winchester Studies series, begins with the period of Roman history when Winchester was known as Venta Belgarum, the capital of King Alfred’s Wessex and later a judicial centre and important county town.

The Atlas, edited by professors Martin Biddle and Derek Keene, was published jointly by the Historic Towns Trust and Winchester’s Excavations Committee and includes the first comprehensive survey of the Roman city and its history to be published in over a hundred years, as well as documenting Winchester’s later growth and development drawing on the results of the most recent archaeological and documentary research.

* IN A classic case of shooting the messenger, the Chronicle faced criticism from a Winchester student journalist, Ben O’Regan, in response to a report on a public meeting in which city councillors were concerned about the ‘studentification’ of the city.

However, for fears of sparking mass protests outside our office we have decided not to republish Mr O’Regan’s letter. For once, we will think, and not “stoop to the lows of tabloid journalism for attention” by republishing an “unjustified and hurtful attack” from a “failing regional newspaper”.

* PLANS for the first permanent Olympic-sized ice arena and curling rink in a Hampshire city were revealed... and then dashed by Winchester City Council.

The privately funded, £20 million mixed-use development, proposed by Aethos Development Ltd, could transform the old depot site at Bar End in Winchester.

As well as the ice arena, the proposal included a 120-bed hotel, restaurant, coffee house and convenience store. The rink would also include a bowling ally, and indoor caving facilities.

WCC said that although they welcomed projects like this, the old depot site, currently owned by the council, was not for sale.


* WINCHESTER MP Steve Brine officially opened a new food bank in the city, but angry residents criticised his involvement due the government’s programme of austerity.

The branch, in St Luke’s Church, Stanmore, is the second in the city and will act as a new satellite bank, helping those in need without having to make a lengthy trip to the Highcliffe branch.

* CONCRETE barricades were installed in Winchester High Street following fears of a Nice-style terror attack.

Concerns were raised by Cllr Linda Gemmell at a meeting to discuss plans for a major redevelopment of the city centre.

The Silver Hill 2 scheme was praised by members of Winchester City Council’s overview and scrutiny committee, but Cllr Gemmell questioned how the pedestrianisation of the city centre would affect Winchester’s security.

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