Winchester Sport & Leisure Park - Phase 3 Engagement

Closed 21 Jan 2018

Opened 8 Dec 2017

Feedback Updated 22 Mar 2018

We Asked

Purpose of Engagement – To invite comments on the initial concept designs for the new Sport & Leisure Centre and the Urban Design Framework for Bar End.

Scope and Methodology – Several opportunities were arranged for members of the public to meet the Winchester Sport & Leisure Park project team at River Park Leisure Centre, the Guildhall Winchester and Winchester Sports Stadium. Two further information events were held in venues in the South of the District in Bishops Waltham and Whiteley. An unmanned exhibition at River Park Leisure Centre was also available to view during the whole engagement period. The engagement information and questionnaire were also published online on Winchester City Council’s CitizenSpace portal.

The engagement was open to the public from 8th December 2017 to 21 January 2018.

You Said

Number of Responses Received

100 responses were received.

Part 1: The Urban Design Framework

In relation to the emerging Urban Design Centre, the results are as follows:




Don't know

Not Answered

Do you agree with the main features of the Urban Design Framework?





Respondents were asked to rank their first, second and third choice of UDF facilities to be delivered in subsequent phases(s) of the UDF following the completion of the Sport & Leisure Centre. In order of preference, the results are presented below. The rank score presents the comparable degree of support for each element.



A new pedestrian link to the South Downs Way


A new circular walk around the perimeter of the grassed playing pitches across the Garrison Ground and KGV Playing Fields


A new or refurbished pavilion within the KGV playing fields


A floodlit all terrain pitch


A “wild” (natural) play area or equipment


Improvements to the playground / skateboard park and mini multi-use games area


A trim trail


Spectator seating for the athletics track


A designated area for archery


Part 2: Open Ended Comments (Urban Design Framework)

A total of 71 respondents provided additional commentary in relation to the UDF as part of the Open Ended Question. A small number of these specifically dealt with design observations about the Sport & Leisure Centre. These comments have been analysed under the Design Questions below.

A total of 47 "grouped" issues were raised across the 71 responses. The most frequently raised issues included:

1. Walking and Cycling measures (21)

2. Connectivity and Integration across the UDF area and with wider area (8)

3. Parking Provision and Management (8)

4. Pitch provision and distribution (7)

5. Traffic, Junction design and traffic pollution (5)

6. All Terrain Pitch support (4)

7. Public Transport provision (4)

8. Community Pavilion (4)

9. Play Area (4)

In addition to the above, 15 issues were raised more than once, but not more than 3 times and 24 issues were raised just once. Comments included, but were not limited to, the objective of the Council’s Vision, support for spectator seating, energy performance requirements, facilities mix (including Tennis, Netball, Ice Rink, outdoor gym and parkrun), the perceived requirement for a larger sports hall, ecological management, drainage, the arrival experience, residents permits and concerns over organised sporting groups potentially dominating the survey results. In relation to the last issue, the range of activities (sporting and passive recreation in nature) were balanced, with no strong organised lobby of any particular sporting facility.

There were a number of references to community use of the area, pavilions and play areas. These responses continue to demonstrate the importance the community place on ongoing local engagement to deliver facilities and interventions.

A small number of respondents referred to the continued uncertainty over the depot site. Some had expected to see development proposals presented for review. The absence of development concepts for the Depot caused some to think that the site had been excluded from the UDF. This is not the case: the Depot site remains within the UDF boundary. In response to these, and similar comments, the UDF now presents a greater degree of clarity as to the maximum heights of new buildings anticipated in this location. A "no build zone" has also be included along the northern edge of the site which seeks to ensure appropriate separation distances to properties along Milland Road.

References were also made that Hampshire County Council are encouraged to work with the City Council to deliver a direct east –west connection across the UDF area linking the Garrison Ground with the King George V Playing fields.

Walking and cycling comments tended to refer to safety concerns, greater emphasis on shared routes and crossing points, and avoid a car-centric arrival taking the form of a large car park. The use of adjacent Park and Ride sites to accommodate parking was cited, as was a notable number of respondents who argued that parking was vital for the Sport & Leisure Centre to be successful. Direct public transport connections and more frequent services was also supported.

Part 3: The Sport & Leisure Centre

In relation to the design and layout of the Sport & Leisure Centre, the statistical results are as follows.

Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the following statements:




Not Answered

Overall, do you like the concept designs for the Sport & Leisure Centre?








Neither agree nor disagree


Not Answered

I like the fact that the new Sports & Leisure Centre is situated within a “green” and informal parkland setting





I like the simple and unfussy design of the building





I like the fact that the design looks out to connect the sports hall and the stadium which provides a link between the dry sports and those outside





I like the way that the Sports Hall, swimming pool, fitness suite and café look out onto the park and the surrounding landscape






Part 4: Open Ended Comments (The Sport & Leisure Centre)

A total of 69 respondents provided additional commentary in relation to the Sport & Leisure Centre as part of the Open Ended Question. A small number of these specifically dealt with UDF issues, and the relationship between the Sport & Leisure Centre and surrounding uses. For the purposes of this exercise, we have retained these comments within the Sport & Leisure Centre analysis.

A total of 28 "grouped" issues were raised across the 69 responses. Issues relating to detailed design comments as to the Sport & Leisure Centre are grouped as one issue.

The most frequently raised issues included:

1. Detailed Design Comments (27 comments covering 18 issues)

2. Facilities Mix and the range of uses proposed within the building (23)

3. General accessibility / connectivity issues (10)

4. Parking and Management (7)

5. The Sports Hall being considered too small (7)

6. Cycling and Walking facilities (7)

7. Green Energy / Environmental Performance / Carbon Footprint (6)

8. The general appearance of the building (no detailed design comment) (5)

9. Public Transport (5)

10. Relationship between the Sport & Leisure Centre and the Stadium (4)

11. The efficiency of the internal layout (4)

12. Landscape design and impact (3)

13. General support (3)

In addition to the comments raised above, 2 issues were raised twice and 9 issues were raised just once. Comments included, but not limited to, concerns over the future population and use projection of the Centre, the relationship with the wider Vision for the area, the landscape impact of the building, air quality, playing pitch provision, the ability for local schools to access and use the facilities, hours of operation and light pollution.

Detailed Design Comments

The 18 detailed design comments provided in the open ended responses included:

  •  The location and role of internal divisions between uses (4)
  •  Glazing (3)
  •  Café size and/or position (3)
  •  The absence of a shared Office for local Community Groups (2)
  •  Crèche (2)
  •  The design of the western elevation
  •  Inclusive design principles
  •  Roof Profile
  •  Roof cross beams
  •  Storage
  •  Office / First Aid location
  •  Changing provision
  •  Kitchen size and location
  •  The need for a second lift
  •  Retractable seating
  •  Sports Hall Spectator facilities
  •  Drinking fountains
  •      Toilet provision

The most frequent general issues of concern to respondents in relation to the Sport & Leisure Centre covers transport, access and movement: the ability to secure a safe means of access and egress, with a desire for stronger support for sustainable travel modes. The wider environmental performance of the building is highlighted as a particular issues, with comments supporting more evidence as to the carbon footprint of the building and the encouragement for renewable energy sources.

Isolated comments of note included whether the future of the RPLC could include facilities not being provided at the WSLC, project budget, financial modelling of options, the ability of a local school to gain access to the site from the proposed (restricted) Milland Road entrance and a concern over the failure to integrate a spectator seating stand with the main Sports Hall.

Part 5: Statistical Conclusions

There remains a notable degree of support for the way in which the general layout enables views over the wider landscape setting. A large gap exists between the general approval and disapproval rating in favour of the emerging design. The importance of the Parkland setting continues to resonate with the public.

Part 5: General conclusions

The open ended responses included a vast array of issues, from general observations as to the relationship between the Sport & Leisure Centre, the UDF and the wider area, to detailed comments relating to internal roof beams and the maintenance of soap dispensers in the showers.

The most frequently cited responses in relation to the both the UDF and the Sport & Leisure Centre tended to not relate to the design of the building, but the accessibility profile of the site – the ability to arrive, move through and depart in a safe manner where cyclists, pedestrians and car users will be sharing spaces. The ease of visiting RPLC was noted by a number of respondents in general terms.

The integrated Planning Design and Access Statement will therefore focus on presenting clear access and movement strategy diagrams, supplemented by detailed hard and soft landscaping plans. Strategies will include reference to public transport provision and service frequency, residential permit scheme revisions and internal pathways through the application site. These are intended to connect to longer term provision over KGV and to the South Downs Way.

The relationship between the Sport & Leisure Centre and the Stadium was referred across both elements of the survey, as was the relationship between the Sport & Leisure Centre and the Depot site, where uncertainty over development proposals remained for some residents. The environmental performance of the Sport & Leisure Centre and Park facilities (and greater clarity) are issues close to respondent hearts.

Detailed design responses suggest that there are many issues and objectives which respondents are looking towards the Sport & Leisure Centre to address. While respondents were generally positive towards the design and design objectives of the Sport & Leisure Centre, the areas of greatest support from respondents appear to be the relationship between the Sport & Leisure Centre building and the landscaped setting in which the building will sit. As demonstrated through the three rounds of public engagement, the phase 3 respondents place importance on the landscape qualities of the Sport & Leisure Park and that this should inform the sympathetic design of the Sport & Leisure Centre Building.

We Did

Working with architects, the Council have now developed an overall vision for the Sport and Leisure Park at Bar End, along with concept designs for the new Leisure Centre.  The designs are now being further developed and we are aiming to start the planning permission process later this year.

A process is underway to select a contractor to build the new Leisure Centre and we are starting to consider the procurement process for the operator of the Centre.

The next meeting of the Cabinet (Leisure Centre) Committee will be held on Monday 26 March 2018 at Winchester Guildhall.  The report that will be discussed at that meeting can be viewed here.

The next phase of engagement will be held in conjunction with the submission of a Planning Application later in 2018.

Planning permission will be sought and a formal full business case will be prepared that assesses the crucial issue of funding alongside elements such as land ownership, transport and commissioning building designs.


Stride Treglown architects and LA architects, on behalf of Winchester City Council and the University of Winchester, invite your comments on the initial concept designs for the new Sport & Leisure Centre and the Urban Design Framework for Bar End.

The Winchester Sport & Leisure Park is a City Council initiative, in conjunction with the University of Winchester and The Pinder Trust, to improve the sports and leisure facilities. It enhances the existing outdoor space at Bar End, with the centrepiece of the proposals being the new Winchester Sport & Leisure Centre.

We want to hear your views about the concept designs for the new Centre and the plan for the Urban Design Framework at Bar End.

In order to answers the questions in the feedback survey you are invited to review the exhibition boards which are available during the engagement events and on the Council’s website.


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