Marchers will take to the streets in Winchester tomorrow to protest against a number of developments which they say risk ruining the historic town centre
The movement was initially sparked by residents angered by the form of Allies & Morrison’s Silver Hill redevelopment scheme.
But the organisers of the march say there are wider concerns about the way in which Winchester City Council is consulting with residents over new developments.
City councillor Kim Gottlieb told the AJ: ‘There are a few other controversial schemes coming forward in the centre of town which people regard as sensitive. There is a feeling that people are not being consulted particularly well.’
Gottlieb was last week granted a hearing in the High Court for a judicial review of the Silver Hill scheme, which is being promoted by developer TIAA Henderson Real Estate.
The original 2009 planning permission has been amended to remove a number of planning gain items including affordable housing and a proposed new bus station.
And the court ruled that there was an arguable case that the council should have put the scheme back out to tender following these amendments. A hearing has been set for the end of January.
Meanwhile, a new set of planning applications covering the site has been submitted to the council to increase the amount of retail space and will be go before councilors next month.
Winchester-based architect Robert Adam of ADAM Urbanism, who has produced an alternative version of how the Silver Hill scheme could look, told AJ: “The problem with this development is that it has a number of buildings of over four stories and is all being completed by a single developer.”
He also said that the council, which is a freeholder on the site, was failing to listen to concerns raised by the public and had “rolled over” to allow the removal of planning gain benefits.
He said of tomorrow’s march: ‘It started with Silver Hill and now other people have joined in. It is essentially about the council not listening to its constituency.
‘I just wish they had done this when we, as a small group of architects, drew everyone’s attention to this a few years ago.’