DEMOLITION work has been undertaken on brick walls outside the Kings Walk arcade in Winchester city centre.

Workmen moved in on Friday morning and cordoned off the area to start the work.

The brick wall next to the South Downs Social cycle cafe was only built a few years ago and was crenellated to make it uncomfortable for drinkers sitting on it.

However, the wall did not deter anti-social behaviour and so now it and its flower beds are being removed.

A public notice on the fencing refers to work carried out at St Maurice's Covert in March and April.

The city council is undertaking work to revamp the 1970s Kings Walk arcade before in the long term the building is set to be demolished as part of the Central Winchester Regeneration, also known as Silver Hill.


Demolition at Kings Walk

Demolition at Kings Walk


Access to the Kings Walk arcade of shops is not prevented by the works.

This week the Chronicle has reported how the council has come under fire for the proposed eviction of two long-established shops, Sunflower Emporium and Sukee Market. Emails seen by this newspaper reveal that a permanent replacement for one has yet to be found.

The city council says it wants to create a creative quarter and neither business are deemed to fit in.

City councillor Kelsie Learney, Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management, said today: “The walls outside Kings Walk were never intended to provide an informal seating area. By demolishing them, we are responding to the concerns of local businesses and shoppers affected by a small group of people who gather and sit on the walls during the day. The walls and associated flower beds will be replaced by fencing which we hope will mitigate the day-to-day challenges for both traders and shoppers. We are also working closely with partner agencies to address the wider issue of anti-social behaviour across the district. 
 “Our vision for Kings Walk is to create a new creative quarter for Winchester as our plans for Central Winchester move forward. Removal of the existing walls is just the first step and we are currently working with architects to design further significant improvements to the public realm. These improvements will make it easier to navigate between different parts of the city centre and will also encourage street artists and performers to activate the reconfigured public spaces in ways which are both engaging and entertaining for all those visiting Kings Walk.
“We will also be breathing new life into our timeless city at Kings Walk by improving retail frontages, creating opportunities to improve the open spaces and curating an evolving mix of businesses that align with our aspirations to establish and encourage a creative quarter right in the centre of the city.”


Demolition at Kings Walk

Demolition at Kings Walk


READ MORE HERE: Shopkeepers criticise city council's eviction plans and lack of permanent replacement

SEE ALSO: City council wasting money over Kings Walk

SEE ALSO: Architects start revamp of Kings Walk

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