THE seemingly moribund Silver Hill scheme has flickered back to life.

A major building, standing empty for years, is set to have a new use whilst finalised draft plans for the Central Winchester Regeneration Project will go before cabinet in February.

Head of programme Veryan Lyons said the team have been making steady progress despite the pandemic.

At a city council meeting on Monday, she gave a presentation to show how far the plans have come.

“We have taken all the feedback and taken on board everything that has been said by the local community,” she said.

“It was clear that people want features from all of the options that we offered for consultation, so now we are working with JLL to make sure this happens.

“We are also looking at how we can connect this scheme with what might come out of the Movement Strategy.”

The project team are hoping to host a virtual presentation, open to residents, soon.

Ms Lyons added: “An awful lot of work has been done. The timeline has slipped just a little due to lockdown, but we have been working online and remotely.

“We are looking forward to the cabinet meeting in February to share the proposals in their final draft form.”

Meanwhile a Coitbury House within the project area will be used to house key workers under a property guardian scheme.

The building on Friarsgate, which was used as a medical services centre since the 1960s, is currently empty.

The city council has been deciding what to do with it – and will now be letting it out to LOWE Property Guardians.

This London-based company looks to accommodate between 15 and 20 key workers from the Winchester district.

Tim Lowe of LOWE told a Winchester City Council meeting: “We look to help key workers by making their living easy. So many people are out there giving so much in their day-to-day life and we plan to give back to them.

“We have housed more than 400 people across the UK and want to show that property guardianships are a fantastic way for people to develop relationships and forge strong links with their community.”

The company will decide how many residents Coitbury House can provide for after it has conducted a fire safety assessment.

Cllr Kelsie Learney, cabinet member for housing and asset management added: “Our plans to reinvigorate the Central Winchester Regeneration area are taking shape.

“We’re excited to see Coitbury House open its doors once more to offer much needed affordable accommodation to local people. This is something local people asked us to consider - it’s reflected in the Supplementary Planning Document that we created based on consultation with businesses and residents.

“We are delighted to welcome LOWE to the city centre and are also looking forward to the arrival of the guardians who will be able to move in early next year.

“There’s more on the way with more proposals for the Central Winchester Regeneration area set to be shared with the public in the coming months. We will see this area completely transformed with new places to live, work and play.”

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