SIR: I totally agree with points raised by Steve Brine, MP (Chronicle, August 27) that Winchester City Council sometimes lacks vision and that nothing much has happened with proposed major projects, often seeming to go backwards. Whilst, it is good to see that one major project, the new Leisure Centre is progressing, it is concerning that the adjoining land, the Depot Site, is still under discussion and unlikely to be anything other than an unsightly plot for at least another three years, if not longer.

According to Winchester City Council’s Forward Plan of Key Decisions for October 2020, a motion will be put forward at their Cabinet meeting in October to approve expenditure of £250,000 for marketing plans for the Depot Site. This will surely be taxpayer’s money and presumably will be used to employ consultants – surely there is enough expertise within the Council to decide what they, and more importantly the people of Winchester want from that site.

Over the past year it has been suggested by several Councillors and Officers that redevelopment of the Depot Site should include health and additional sporting facilities to complement the new Leisure Centre - so the Council already know what they want on the Depot site.

The Council are also very aware that for almost two years there has been a Leisure Developer very interested in this site who has put forward various plans, at the Council’s request. These include sporting facilities which would complement the Leisure Centre and be a major benefit for the community – including a permanent Ice Arena – plus a budget hotel (for which the developer already has a chain on board) and an interested supermarket chain.

So why is it necessary to waste £250,000 on yet another Consultant to go out to market the site?

Why are they not negotiating with this developer to seek agreement on sale/lease of the Depot Site which gives financial gain to the Council and, perhaps more importantly, additional facilities for the community?

Edna Boden,

Winchester Ice Sport Association,

Greenhill Road,