PLANS to transform Winchester city centre’s Silver Hill site and create a “vibrant mixed-use development” including new homes and a thriving night-time economy have taken a step forward.

Winchester City Council’s cabinet is due to consider the next step for the site, now known as Central Winchester Regeneration, at its next meeting on March 10.

Members will discuss the project following the completion of an online public consultation which saw over 2,500 people visit an online exhibition into the scheme and over 100 people attend an online consultation session. Over 300 members of the public also completed a questionnaire.

Of those who answered the questionnaire 68 per cent confirmed that they supported the project’s proposals, and the majority supported key elements of the vision, including affordable housing, flexible workspaces, opening up the waterways and improved public realm.

There were more mixed views on plans for managing movement around the site, particularly around parking and buses. Some concerns were also expressed about the proposed delivery route using a single development partner.

Cllr Kelsie Learney, cabinet member for housing and asset management, said: “This is such an important site, for the future of the city, for our economic prosperity and for future generations who may want to make Winchester their home. It is an exciting opportunity, and we must get it right. We are very encouraged by the feedback from the public during what was a very comprehensive public consultation and can now concentrate on the elements of the proposals that we would like to give more thought to, as well as those where we are able to press ahead.

“We are determined to see this under-utilised, wasted space in the very heart of our beautiful city come to life and look forward to making the aspirations set out in the Central Winchester Supplementary Planning Document a reality, at the best time, in the right way, for the benefit of all.”

Central Winchester Regeneration Project proposals

Central Winchester Regeneration Project proposals

Central Winchester Regeneration proposals

The project will be completed in stages and the council will now consider how to encourage longer visits to the city centre, alongside improvements to the ground floor of Kings Walk and the surrounding public realm and creating a temporary open space on the site of the old Friarsgate Medical Centre.

Planners are also discussing the best way to develop a creative hub at Kings Walk and how to co-ordinate buses on-street to unlock the Silver Hill site.

More work is also being done on the best way to deliver the development proposals for the long term across the wider site, and a preferred way forward will be presented at a cabinet meeting in the summer for approval to progress.