1. That the indicative project outline be noted and the overall work plan be agreed ahead of the Strategic Outline Case submission in December/January 2022/23.
2. That the study area for the Station Approach project, set out in paragraph 11.7 of report CAB3349, be agreed (NB replacement map of study area published in an addendum to the report).
3. That the draft development principles that will be consulted on as part of the initial communication and engagement phase set out in paragraph 11.10 of report CAB3349 be agreed.
4. That the Communications and Engagement Strategy for the Station Approach project be agreed as set out in report CAB3349/Appendix 1 to the report.
5. That the public engagement and consultation process for the Station Approach project be launched on 1 August 2022 and run to 23 October 2022.
6. That the council should continue exploring opportunities with Network Rail and London & Continental Railways (LCR) to produce a joined-up plan for the area.
7. That a cross-party reference group for the Station Approach project be established as set out in paragraph 6.2 of report CAB3349 and the finalisation of these arrangements be delegated to the Strategic Director – Place in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Asset Management.
Councillor Tod introduced the report and highlighted the importance of the project for the district and that the report set out a new beginning for the project with a different approach to bring this development forward. The report had been considered at the Scrutiny Committee on 13 July 2022 and a minute extract of that Committee’s recommendations had been circulated prior to the meeting. In addition, responses to each of the points raised had been prepared and circulated. Both additional papers have been published as addenda to the report on the council’s website.
Two members of the public spoke during public participation as summarised briefly below.
Reiterated her comments made at the Scrutiny Committee requesting that the project be paused because of the large degree of uncertainty with the economy and future ways of working, post pandemic. In addition, the impact of the planned new park and ride at north Winchester should be assessed before any decisions were made regarding the Cattle Market car park. Queried how the council would manage and phase major projects in the city. Highlighted the complicated nature of the area with multiple different uses. There needed to be an integrated transport plan and suggested that the area should provide new housing accommodation and green spaces rather than shops and offices. Suggested that the radius of consultation be extended to one mile.
Supported the principle of the development of the station approach area and emphasised the importance of learning lessons from past projects. Highlighted that the locally based architect’s firm, Design Engine had undertaken a great deal of work for the previous project and would be a valuable source of information for the council.
At the invitation of the Leader, Councillors Wallace and Read addressed Cabinet as summarised briefly below.
Along with the Central Winchester Regeneration project, Station Approach offered a fantastic opportunity for Winchester to position itself as a green city. Highlighted the requirement for at least a 10% reduction in transport emissions by 2030 and that the site offered a great opportunity to eliminate car usage and focus on sustainable transport. The site development process should include minimising the carbon impact of the project build itself together with ongoing carbon costs. Suppliers should be asked to provide the carbon impact of their proposals.
Welcomed the restart of the project as the opportunity to offer better use of council owned land, but queried what had changed in terms of the strategic objectives of the project compared to the last time. In addition, questioned the purpose of new public consultation if the strategic objectives remained largely unchanged. Considered the timing of the Scrutiny Committee did not offer adequate opportunity for comments to be properly considered prior to Cabinet.
The Leader thanked the public and invited councillors for their contributions which were addressed in the following Cabinet discussion. In particular, the Leader outlined the very different approach being proposed in the current iteration of the project and confirmed ... view the full minutes text for item 8
It is recommended that the committee scrutinise and comment on the proposals within the attached cabinet report, ref CAB3349 which is to be considered by cabinet at its meeting on the 19 July 2022.
Councillor Tod, Leader and Cabinet Member for Asset Management introduced the report, ref SC072 and CAB3349 which set out proposals for the Update on Station Approach project, (available here).
The committee was recommended to scrutinise and comment on the proposals within the attached cabinet report, ref CAB3349 which was to be considered by the cabinet at its meeting on 19 July 2022.
The committee proceeded to ask questions and debate the report. In summary, the following matters were raised:
· whether an opportunity existed for the initial consultation period to be extended past the holiday season
· would the drop-in sessions also take place at weekends and evenings to ensure wider accessibility?
· clarifying the timescales concerning the Northern Park and Ride
· concern over capacity within the council to manage several regeneration projects concurrently
· clarifying the council's aspiration for the percentage of affordable homes delivered as part of this project
· ensuring the appropriate separation of functions within the council, ie between the council as a developer and local planning authority
· establishing the Reference group and the desire to avoid the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements
· clarifying at which point Phase 1 ends
· understanding the background and expertise of the public affairs agency (Meeting Place Communications)
· could the phasing titles be added to the appendix?
· the nature of the short-term agreement with Network Rail and their financial contribution to Phase 1
· plans for the engagement with the City of Winchester Trust
· the status of the master plan within a planning context and whether it would be possible to create a type of Supplementary Planning Document from it?
· the status of the area of land next to the records office
· whether other potential sites nearby exist that could be brought into the partnership
· did a mechanism exist for looking at all of the council's regeneration projects to ensure the right balance of facilities for the whole city?
· would the Jones Lang LaSalle report be available to members?
· the importance of engaging with the wider district
· the use of social media to promote all engagement sessions including committee meetings
· could rail passengers be handed a newsletter as they leave or enter the station?
· consider distributing the newsletter to a wider audience
· consider including specific outputs or deliverables with the associated milestones as part of the milestone table
· encourage the project team to seek to use the local expertise of residents in how they use the site and how they move around the site.
· vital to engage with those who are difficult to engage with and communities on the edge of the city that would be impacted by these proposals
· consider both physical and virtual walkabout events
· important to consider the knock-on effects and reassure residents that the wider considerations are being assessed
· ensure people don't feel that this was being “done to them”
· would Network Rail be undertaking their own consultation?
These points were responded to by Councillor Tod, the Strategic Director and the Project Manager accordingly and were noted by the cabinet members ... view the full minutes text for item 6