TrustNews January 1987


The Brooks Development


The following is a summary of the comments which the Trust has circulated to developers. The full text may be seen in the Members' Room in the Heritage Centre:


Development in Winchester should whenever possible enhance its character as a city, and make it more enjoyable as a place for living.


Development of the city's own property should be more biased towards these prime objectives than can be expected of private property development.


We believe that the brief for the Brooks Development should therefore include the following specific requirements:-


Architectural quality in materials, form and scale which will continue the unique character of Winchester.


A reasonable proportion of small shops, ensuring that some of the site will be used by local businesses.


Some residential units, preferably above shops (but with separate access), ensuring that the area remains inhabited out of working hours.


In addition, the Trust would ask developers and their architects to do whatever they can to achieve the following general objectives:-


Reduction of the over-heated success of the small High Street precinct by dilution into the Brooks area.


Promotion of an environment which will be attractive to tourists, relieving some of the pressures elsewhere. In particular it is desirable to find ways of encouraging tourists to stay overnight.


Re-creation of a special Brooks ambience which might include re-opening sections of the streams which run through the area.


With regard to traffic, the Trust disagrees with the official requirement for visitor car parking on the site, both because it will perpetuate the intense existing traffic/pedestrian conflict, and because we believe it will seriously inhibit the opportunities to meet all the previously stated objectives. We therefore ask that developers should consider the following points:-


Alternatives to their official schemes showing how reduction of visitor parking could improve their proposals.


Suggestions for making any visitor parking provision reversible; that is to say convertible to other uses in future so that parking need not be a permanent feature of the site.


The advantages of pedestrian dominated roads (as in the lower part of the High Street) over total segregation, including the advantages of compromise on unloading facilities so that off-street provision does not spoil the built environment.


Michael Carden & Chris Gillham