DEVELOPERS have returned with a new plan to transform part of Bishop’s Waltham after their previous proposals were rejected and deemed “unacceptably large”.

In July 2019 Winchester City Council’s planning committee refused a mixed-use development on land opposite Budgens, in Malt Lane. The application sought to build 28 apartments, five ground floor retail units, a replacement building for the old NHS physiotherapy unit, and a replacement youth hall.

Now Country Homes has returned with an updated proposal following talks with the council.

The number of homes have been reduced to 24, including six three-bed hours, two three-bed flats, 14 two-bed flats and two one-bed flats, but the replacement of the youth hall remains following the demolition of existing buildings.

Planning chiefs previously raised concerns about the height of the scheme, but developers say they have now reduced the height and the mass to “now reflect the surrounding context” which they say “help to break up the appearance of the elevations”.

The council were also unclear as to why vehicle access was needed in the south-east corner of the site, deeming that access could be served from Malt Lane, but within the latest proposal the new access has been retained “as a way of ensuring that privacy of access is ensured and ensuring that greater amenity space is allowed for”.

Issues surrounding privacy were also raised by planning chiefs, and developers that this has been solved by orientating buildings in a way to avoid “overlooking of neighbouring properties and other blocks within the proposed development”.

The application states: “The redevelopment of the site to a mixed-use development provides an opportunity to enhance the local area as well as the appearance of the site this includes improving the links to the town from the Winchester Road creating attractive residential development and youth hall.

“The existing site, by virtue of the utilitarian design of the buildings and the parking that currently occurs at the front of the site, currently does not positively contribute to the character of the area and creates an uninviting vista on one of the main roads into the town.

“The relocation of the youth hall into purpose-built accommodation will benefit a wide section of the local community, particularly as local community groups currently use the youth hall, including the food bank.”