Winchester City Council has submitted a planning application to demolish the former derelict Friarsgate Medical Centre, which will be redeveloped and turned into a temporary area of public open space
The demolition of the derelict Friarsgate Medical Centre is part of the council’s proposals to pave the way for the regeneration of Central Winchester.
The improvements to the area will result in significant short-term community benefits for local people and enhanced public access through a key part of the city centre.
Friarsgate Medical Centre has been empty since 2014. Its demolition will mark the start of the initial phase in the redevelopment of the Central Winchester Regeneration area.
The plans for the derelict Friarsgate Medical Centre site have been influenced and informed by a public engagement exercise that took place in December 2021.
Ove Arup & Partners are looking to incorporate a range of new public facilities to enhance the public realm
• Installing a new timber decking bridge at the point where Friarsgate crosses the Itchen watercourse.
• Erecting a light timber fence along the south east corner of the site to ensure that the privacy of neighbouring residents is respected.
• Incorporating a large number of new trees, as well as wildflower and ornamental grass planting.
• Introducing seating to encourage people to make use of the newly-created spaces.
• Installing 10 new bike stands to encourage alternative methods of travel into the city from the private car.
• Incorporating a sensitive, sustainable lighting strategy to ensure public safety during evenings/night-time.
The new open space will temporarily transform a run-down site in the city centre, inviting people to enjoy the space and making a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the area.
It will also enhance the overall pedestrian experience by providing three new north-south access routes to Winchester Bus Station and the city centre.
Arup are to deliver the new facilities at the former derelict Friarsgate Medical Centre
Sophie Camburn, director at Arup, commented: “Arup is excited to deliver this important next step for Central Winchester – our design is driven by circular economy principles to create a creative and dynamic public realm for all users.”
The council will also move ahead with procuring a development partner to deliver the shared vision for the centre of the city that has been developed from extensive consultation.
The wider proposals will result in a vibrant, new quarter for people living and working in and around the district including flexible workspace, retail and leisure facilities, high quality homes and an attractive public realm.
Winchester City Council has met with local groups and individuals to discuss how the use of the proposed new public realm can be optimised.
The planning application is currently being validated and documents are being uploaded, which will be able to view on the city council website.