Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Winchester's Silver Hill development changes approved

An artist's impression of part of the development Image copyright Winchester City Council
Image caption The Silver Hill city centre redevelopment includes homes, shops and public spaces

Changes to plans for a £165m city centre development in Winchester, including removing a commitment to affordable housing, have been approved.

Winchester City Council's planning committee voted in favour of changes made by developer TIAA Henderson to proposals for which they already have planning permission.

There will be fewer houses and more retail space in the revised plans.

Protesters said a legal campaign against the development would continue.

After an eight-hour meeting, the committee approved plans to reduce the number of homes in the proposals, remove affordable housing and have an on-street interchange instead of a bus station.

A council report said the commitment to affordable homes in the development was "not viable".

The developer has made a commitment to contributing £1m towards affordable homes elsewhere as part of the plans.

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

Opponents of the scheme took part in a protest march through the city earlier this month.

The 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.

He is leading a legal challenge at the High Court in January, into the council's procurement procedures surrounding the scheme.

"There were lots of things about the process, not necessarily the scheme itself, but how they processed the applications which we think weren't correctly done in law," he said.

A City Council spokesman said the authority was "pleased that proposals for Silver Hill are moving forward."

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