What we do
The City of Winchester Trust is a voluntary organisation that champions Winchester and works towards positive change. We give a collective voice to residents and businesses that wish to conserve our wonderful city in the face of the numerous challenges to its heritage, architecture and landscape. While we welcome thoughtful improvements, we think that new developments and alterations and renovations must be in keeping with the outstanding aesthetic of the City and respectful of the rich history that has made Winchester such a desirable place to live and work.
The Trust has three guiding principles:
To maintain Winchester as a compact city within its landscape setting.
To conserve and enhance the rich heritage of the city.
To ensure that the city maintains a balance between the needs for homes, employment, retail, education, health, recreation, culture and visitor attractions that provide and maintain a vibrant local economy.
One of the Trust’s main priorities is reviewing planning policies and decisions, as they have the most significant impact on the City. The Trust works on this in a number of ways – by commenting on planning policies locally and nationally, by scrutinising development proposals and by assessing individual planning applications. Click here for more information.
We believe that Winchester needs a sustainable transport policy that works for everyone in the City, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists, drivers or public transport users. The Trust always comments on the traffic and transport implications of new developments, policies and planning applications and works with organisations such as Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) on the impacts of transport in Winchester. Click here for more information.
Winchester's population is projected to grow significantly over the next 15 years, and demand for new homes will increase as a result. The Trust believes that planners, designers and developers should be producing housing that exhibits a sense of place and belonging, of which all can be proud. Click here for more information.
The Trust believes that opportunities should be taken to generate development that is of a scale and character that will add to the vitality of the city, that promotes Winchester’s unique place in English history and which will comply with the emerging Movement Strategy for Winchester. The needs of businesses and the nature of the work place are changing which mean offices will need to adapt to suit new ways of working. The retail and restaurant sector and the education sector are also priorities for the Trust. Click here for more information.
conservation and heritage
With a settlement history incorporating Iron Age, Roman and Medieval periods, Winchester in its setting is of unique importance. This history is reflected in its buildings, streets and landscape. In the more than 60 years since it was founded, the Trust has worked hard to safeguard the City and its setting, with many successes.
Winchester’s conservation area, designated in 1969 and later extended to include Hyde and St Cross, was one of the first in the country. Although the City has benefited since then from enlightened conservation policies from the County and City Councils, in the last few years resources have declined. Today Winchester’s conservation area is listed as ‘at risk’ on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register, and its condition is described as ‘deteriorating’. The Trust is encouraged that the City Council is carrying out a pilot study, Winchester Future 50, reviewing parts of the conservation area, and is pleased to be helping with the survey work.
Every few years a special Trust committee selects the best contributions to Winchester’s architectural scene. These can be new buildings or expert or imaginative restorations to existing buildings. The committee is chaired by an invited expert from outside Winchester. Click here for more information.