ANTI-terror barriers are here to stay, Winchester civic chiefs have confirmed – although they will be replaced by ‘better looking ones’ in the near future.

The city council confirmed that the security measure, introduced in December, will be kept despite a spokesman initially saying they would only stay over the festive period.

The council tweeted: “The current plans are to replace the current concrete barriers with more aesthetically pleasing ones within the next three months. These will then be replaced with a fully integrated solution in due course.”

Despite asking the council, it is not yet clear what the “fully-integrated solution” will be, how long before it is introduced and how much the move is costing taxpayers.

The Chronicle also asked when the decision was made to make the barriers permanent, and why they are replacing the current barriers with another temporary solution, rather that going straight to the fully integrated option, but the council is yet to respond.

As previously reported, the barriers were introduced after concerns were raised by a Winchester councillor about the risks of a Nice-style terror attack.

Cllr Linda Gemmell said at meeting discussing the Silver Hill 2 regeneration plans: “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 last year, which saw vehicles being driven at pedestrians, Cllr Gemmell added that under the plans what was to stop terrorists driving a lorry past King Alfred’s Statue and ploughing into pedestrians in The Broadway and High Street.

A joint statement from the city and county councils said in December that the “temporary barriers” would be installed to keep people safe “during the busy festive season”.

At the overview and scrutiny committee on Monday, Cllr Martin Tod asked: “Do we know how they are perceived by the public?”

Cllr Jan Warwick and Ian Hoult, emergency planning officer at the county council, both said they had only heard positive feedback.

Mr Hoult said of the permanent barriers: “It will be about putting something fitting in with the historic environment and in keeping with the city.”

In a statement on Tuesday, the council said: “In common with many town centres, protective barriers were installed in the city centre in December to provide reassurance to shoppers and visitors. Feedback to the city council has been positive especially from High Street retailers. The city council is currently in discussions with a number of suppliers to replace the concrete barriers with measures that are equally effective, but more attractive. Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council are working together on all aspects of this work.”