Winchester relaunches search for Station Approach architect – again

‘This project has the potential to contribute towards the council’s vision for a vibrant economy that makes best use of this key area. At Station Approach, the council is looking for a sustainable mixed-use development which supports the green economy and improves the urban environment in this important gateway to the city.’

The move comes six years after Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (LDS) won an earlier contest for the same long-running project and eight years after the council launched its first competition for the job – a contentious process that resulted in Hopkins being chosen. However, both designs hit the buffers.

In a bid to restart the scheme, Howarth Tompkins was hired to create a new capacity study for the Station Approach area which completed earlier this year. According to the brief for the latest masterplanning role, proposals for the regeneration zone should encourage sustainable transport and support the council’s ambition to become carbon neutral.

Hopkins original scheme was ditched in 2016 when it was vetoed by councillors. The subsequent LDS scheme for the council-owned Carfax and Cattlemarket plots went on hold after its planning approval for the Carfax site was quashed in a high court.

Project Concept Masterplan for Station Approach Winchester – Consultancy Services
Client Winchester City Council
Contract value £135,000
First round deadline Midday, 22 September 2023
Restrictions Applicants must have an annual turnover of at least £36 million. Applicants must provide three relevant cases studies which demonstrate experience of working on similar projects
More information


Applicant teams are expected to feature an urban designer or masterplanner with transport infrastructure experience and proven ability to lead and manage a multidisciplinary team. A ‘strong track record of designing and delivering high-quality masterplans within a complex brownfield urban environment’ will also be required along with understanding of ‘place making in a heritage rich context.’

In its brief, the council says it is looking for ‘a highly-skilled and motivated masterplan team with appropriate experience to produce a concept masterplan for Station Approach based on various studies done over the previous five years.

Bids will be evaluated 70 per cent on quality and 30 per cent on price. Applicants must hold employer’s liability insurance of at least £5 million, public liability insurance of £5 million, and professional indemnity cover worth £1 million.

Competition details

LDS won a competition for the project in 2017, a year after councillors unexpectedly blocked a proposal by Hopkins, leading to calls for ‘root and branch’ reform of procurement in the historic city.

The new team selected for the estimated £135,000 contract will draw up a ‘commercially viable, deliverable’ concept masterplan for Winchester’s Station Approach area that meets council, stakeholder and community ambition for the prominent sites.

Along with the Carfax and Cattlemarket plots, the latest masterplanning commission also includes two car parks next to the station and a site used for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Army Cadet Force, Minden Company and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Training Corps.

The Carfax and Cattlemarket plots are both a short distance from Winchester station at key gateways to the Hampshire city. In 2017, the council was planning to deliver 13,000m² of commercial space, 5,300m² of residential, 465m² of small-scale retail and about 400 car parking places across the two sites.