FINAL ideas are crystallising for the revamp of a Winchester city centre public gateway.

St Maurice’s Covert has been in need of regeneration for years to combat its neglect and magnetism for anti-social behaviour.

City council-appointed placemaking practice Scott Whitby Associates has been drawing up idea and consulting the public since 2016.

Project leader Cherng-Min Teong presented the latest ideas to the town forum. She said the aim was to declutter the space, removing the waste bins and bollards and improving the links to the Outer Close and cathedral.

Lighting will be improved, a new ceiling installed and new paving laid to make the area more attractive and highlight its heritage. The gravestones would be relocated to inside the tower of St Maurice’s church.

The hope was that the covert would become a space for could sit and relaxation.

Cllr Fiona Mather said improving the area also depended on the near-neighbours, Debenhams, and the Mercure Hotel on the other side of Market Lane.

She said: “I live in faith that Debenhams will do something about their shop windows. Dressing shop windows - it’s an art that seems to have passed them by.” The car park at the Mercure Hotel, said Cllr Mather, was “disgusting”, she added.