RESIDENTS will be given a first look at new plans to regenerate part of Winnall at a public consultation taking place next week.

Under the plans, The Cavendish Centre in Winnall Industrial Estate will be transformed in new offices, as well as accommodation for around 85 students.

The building, which is currently used as serviced office space, is more than 50 years old and currently in a state of disrepair, according to new owners The Cavendish Winchester Ltd.

They say that despite extensive marketing, the building is failing to attract new tenants and needs major renovation to bring it up to modern standards, which they say is not viable.

Director Stephen Davies said: “We believe our proposals will help revitalise this part of Winchester and replace a dilapidated old building, which is no longer fit for purpose, with a thriving new office hub of equivalent floorspace that responds to modern ways of working.

“To make the scheme viable, we have also introduced purpose-built student accommodation with around 85 beds to help meet the needs of university students in the area and free up existing family homes that are being used by students living in houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).”

According to the plans, which are set to go on display, the proposed new building would be arranged around two landscaped courtyards, with the majority of parking under the building. The office would be the main focus of the scheme, located centrally on the site, and clearly visible from the main site entrance with glazed façades on the north and south elevations.

The windows will be set back and angled to provide privacy and will incorporate solar shading to prevent overheating.

The student accommodation will be on the eastern side of the site with the majority of the study bedrooms looking into the landscaped courtyards and gardens.

Nearly all the car parking – 36 spaces – will be provided for the offices, with two parking spaces provided for visitors and student drop off/pick up periods, which will be managed through the use of allotted time slots to minimise disruption to office workers and neighbours.

The developers also say the location of the development would encourage sustainable modes of transport as it is close to Winchester city centre.

The plans also include parking racks for up to 16 bicycles. No other details about the scheme have been made public yet.

Winchester City Council leader and portfolio holder for housing Cllr Caroline Horrill refused to comment on the specific plans, but said the need for student accommodation would be looked at through the council’s Local Plan review.

She added: “We do need offices for the city. We know that we have insufficient space, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises.”

There has been a previous attempt to turn the offices at the site into resident accommodation, but it was refused by Winchester City Council planners in January last year.

The application had sought ‘prior approval’ to create around 20 one-bed homes, but was thrown out as the council had removed permitted development rights.

A similar application had been allowed in August 2013, but the development did not take place.

The plans will go on display to the public at a consultation event taking place on Wednesday, March 20.

It will be held in Unit 8 of The Cavendish Centre, in Winnall Close between 4pm and 8pm.