Draft Wincanton Town Centre Strategy set for public consultation in January
A public consultation on the draft version of the Wincanton Town Centre Strategy will commence in January, after the draft strategy was agreed at Area East Committee in December.
South Somerset District Council's Wincanton Town Centre Strategy aims to boost footfall and help create a more vibrant town centre, through working with partners, in which Wincanton's businesses can flourish.
The draft strategy also comes with an action plan which will provide ideas on how achieving a regenerated Wincanton town centre might be achieved.
Over the last few months, Chilmark Consulting have been working to develop ideas to deliver positive change. They have engaged with many stakeholders through the process, including Town Council, community organisations with a town centre presence, landowners, businesses (individual and the Chamber of Commerce).
The draft Wincanton Town Centre Strategy provides a clear direction for:
- Encouraging quality investment from private and public sector
- Improve commercial confidence
- Inform Future decision making
- Co-ordinate town centre activities/management to achieve complementary improvements
- Promotion and marketing the town centre
- Encouraging and developing partnership to collaborate on implementing the strategy
Another strand of the work, on which feedback from the community will be particularly welcome, has been to consider public realm improvements such as widening footways, introducing different surface dressings, better delineation of on street parking and planting schemes, proposals are tailored to individual locations at:
- Market Place
- High Street (central area no's 7-15 and the eastern gateway)
- Carrington Way
This complements working with landlords to increase the appeal of existing properties, incentivising occupancy with higher grant interventions which is also included in the draft strategy.
Plans are already underway to regenerate Chard and Yeovil town centres, but now with the addition of the Wincanton Town Centre Strategy, South Somerset District Council has delivered on three of its Priority Projects linked to regeneration, as detailed in the Council Plan 2016-2021 Annual Action Plan for 2018-19.
Councillor Nick Weeks, Area East Committee Chairman and portfolio holder for Wincanton regeneration, said: "There has been a long held local aspiration to regenerate Wincanton town centre, but with funding in place for consultants to develop a strategy for the town centre, we've made great progress by creating a draft strategy that is ready for public consultation.
"The public consultation will commence in early January and we are looking forward to hearing what people think about the ways we see Wincanton developing in the near future to increase footfall and create an economically vibrant town centre for Wincanton."
The public consultation, which will last one month, commenced on Monday 14 January where the public and other stakeholders will be able to input their ideas about proposals within the draft strategy document.
The public comments and feedback received during this period will inform an updated document which be considered by the District Council's Area East Committee in the spring.