CIVIC chiefs are set for a private view of plans to change the land around Winchester Railway Station.

Corporate director Steve Tilbury told the town forum last Wednesday (Jan 23) the cabinet would receive a presentation from David Ashe of CH Design Partnership on plans for Station Approach.

Although the presentation will be at a private meeting, forum chairman Cllr Brian Collin said he would consult council leader Keith Wood over any changes to the area.

Mr Tilbury said: “Work is being taken forward. I cannot speak for the administration as to what priority we will give to it but arrangements are being made for it to happen.”

But he added work could be affected by changes to the council's local plan that will be debated later this year at a public inquiry.

He said: “There are some significant issues that, if we were to make something happen, we would need to make sure they are covered in our local plan.”

It follows a presentation from Paul Bulkeley of Snug Projects at the forum last November where he told councillors the land from the station to the Cattle Market was underused and ripe for re-development.

Councillors supported the principle of the plan and said the area needed to be made more attractive to tourists, including more trees and foliage and better signposts for attractions around the city.

“This will be looked upon as something exciting and something special. It is a step in the right direction by giving Winchester a beautiful entrance into the Westgate.”

Cllr Chris Pines added: “After Silver Hill this is going to be potentially the most significant thing we are doing in Winchester for years.”