In your February 15 edition you carry reports of a meeting of Winchester City Council (WCC)’s regeneration cabinet committee ('Progress on regeneration' and '‘Exciting’ update on Silver Hill').  Neither gives cause for confidence that current plans for these projects will be any more successful than previous schemes or that council tax payers’ money is being spent wisely.

On Station Approach we learn that Design Engine will embark on another round of public engagement this summer even though WCC has already committed £295,000 for a concept master plan to be delivered in spring 2025.  It also emerges that Design Engine have already decided that they “..want to transform this from a place to park cars into somewhere with culture and events” but do not explain how this will be achieved by building up to 250 houses and unnecessary offices.  Do they not realise that there is plenty of culture and events just 10 minutes away in the city centre?  Perhaps they will be enlightened when they eventually talk to the Central Winchester team.

 Jigsaw Consortium appear to be a bit ahead on Central Winchester and have discovered that the key concerns of residents are housing, movement and transport, design, heritage and culture, all things that emerged in every  previous round of consultation and have been highlighted in many letters to the Hampshire Chronicle over the years.

Despite telling us what we already know WCC have signed a contract with Jigsaw for this project.  To do exactly what and at what cost?  Councillors Tod and Thompson are excited but after 14 years and over £17 million all that has been achieved is a slightly improved bus station and the demolition of the long-empty Friarsgate medical centre.  Is that really something to be excited about?

 I also find it confusing that demolishing Friarsgate without any immediate plan to replace it is trumpeted by councillors but the council leader believes that for the derelict former River Park Leisure Centre the right time to demolish it is when “we know what will replace it” (also Chronicle, February 15).

Martin Holmes,

Culverwell Gardens,



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