Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Protests over Winchester Silver Hill development

Winchester protests
Image caption Organisers claimed the march was the largest protest Winchester had seen in a decade

Hundreds of people have marched through Winchester in protest at proposed developments in the city.

The march brought together groups opposing the shopping and housing schemes at Silver Hill as well as other proposals.

Organiser Mike Caldwell said Winchester City Council had "precious little understanding" of residents' views and demanded a rethink of its strategy.

The council said the projects were "vital to the future".

Protesters marched from North Walls Recreation Ground to a rally at Guildhall causing delays on the city's one-way system.

Organisers claimed it was the largest protest the city had seen in a decade.

The £165m plans for Silver Hill were described as looking like a "blancmange" by Conservative councillor Ken Gottlieb before they were approved by the council earlier this year.

'Historical character'

Mr Caldwell said: "The issues with Silver Hill typify the problems we've had with numerous proposed developments in that the council shows precious little understanding of what the city's residents want."

He added the protesters were demanding a new masterplan for the city which "purposefully focuses on ways to enhance the historical character of the city".

Council leader Rob Humby said he wanted a "constructive dialogue about our collective future" and the local authority had done a "good job" on consulting over development proposals.

"Let us not pretend we can put our heads in the sand or somehow hold back the tides of change.

"If we do not respond to the challenges facing our retail sector, local jobs, housing and public services then the city will decline," he added.

Image copyright Winchester City Council
Image caption The Silver Hill city centre redevelopment includes homes, shops and public spaces

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites