CIVIC chiefs have agreed to commit to a £5 million scheme to launch the redevelopment of the Station Approach in Winchester.

The council is working on a £150m redevelopment and has gained £5m from the Local Enterprise Partnership for improvements to the public realm.

There have been concerns about having to pay a clawback to the LEP if the scheme does not progress quickly enough.

But at full Council wider fears were raised. Cllr Kim Gottlieb whose judicial review derailed the first Silver Hill scheme in 2016 and also opposed the first Station Approach proposal, tried to speak against the scheme.

"Granting outline consent for a building as large and as tall as the Brooks Centre on a strategic site is not good practice. Even less appropriate is the plan to sell the site is such a way that we will have virtually no control over how the design and specification of the building is finalised.

But he was unable to continue his speech because the mayor Eleanor Bell said it strayed beyond the details of the report which was solely about the LEP money.

Tory group leader Caroline Horrill said: "The opportunity to get the grant from the LEP is very significant. The public realm improvements are much-needed at Station Approach."

Cllr Thompson said: "The LEP money is a tremendous vote of confidence in Winchester."

Thirty-five councillors voted in favour of the LEP money being used, Cllr Gottlieb voted against, and six Lib Dems abstained - Tony Bronk (Colden Common and Twyford), Paula Ferguson (St Bartholomew), Jonathan Fern (Whiteley and Shedfield), Brian Laming (Badger Farm and Oliver's Battery), Malcolm Prince and Jane Rutter (both The Worthys).