The City of Winchester Trust has pursued High Court action against the planning approval of a £150 million regeneration of Station Approach.
As a result of this, the £5 million grant allocated by the Local Enterprise Partnership is no longer guaranteed to be spent by the deadline of the 31st of March 2021. The site has been withdrawn from sale until a legal verdict is reached.
According to the Trust, Winchester City Council did not adequately consider the scheme’s impact upon the character of the surrounding area. The Council had responded to concerns by reducing the proposed height of the buildings and the number of parking spaces. This is the second time the Station Approach development has been set back, as Winchester councillors previously rejected the scheme in 2016.
Winchester Business Improvement District (BID) Director Dr Paul Spencer who represents 700 local businesses has voiced his surprise that the Trust did not approach him regarding the development, despite being a corporate member. Spencer asks:
How many more years will we have to wait before we see these sites developed while other heritage locations move forward with ambitious new developments, helping to future-proof their city centres to make them more competitive and successful to the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors alike and for future generations to come?