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Developer eyes car dealer site for housing in Winchester
HOUSING could replace the former Southgate Peugeot garage in Winchester.
It comes after administrators could not find a buyer for the car dealership in St Cross Road.
The Southgate Group folded seven months ago with the loss of more than 100 jobs across Hampshire and Dorset. It had traded since 1996 and also had branches in Andover, Romsey and Southampton.
Administrator, Begbies Traynor, has now confirmed that it is no longer seeking a buyer for the Winchester operation.
Instead, Fair Oak-based developer Bargate Homes is looking to buy the site.
Its managing director Angus Cook said it was too early to say how many properties might be built.
He did not rule out a mixed-use scheme of homes and business units, and initial plans are currently being drawn up.
He added that talks have been held with the City of Winchester Trust about the sensitive site, which is next to the Everyman Cinema.
Mr Cook said they planned to keep the oldest part of the garage buildings towards the rear of the plot.
However, the much newer glass showroom beside St Cross Road would probably be demolished, he added.
He said: “We are hoping to hold pre-application talks with the council soon, which is also the stage we have reached with the fire station site.”
Bargate applied for permission to redevelop Winchester’s former fire station in North Walls last November.
The site has been vacant for more than a year, following the opening of the city’s new £4m fire station in Easton Lane.
Bargate withdrew its first application to replace the empty buildings in North Walls with 47 apartments earlier this year.
It came after council officers had already recommended to the planning committee that it should be refused.
The developer plans to submit a fresh scheme later this year, following its upcoming talks with the council.