Have your say on the future look of Yeovil town centre

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The way the town centre of Yeovil looks is being consulted on, with residents, visitors and stakeholders all urged to have their say.

The District Council is seeking to regenerate the town centre of Yeovil through multiple projects as part of the adopted Yeovil Refresh.

Enhancing the public realm (how the area will look overall) is an important project that will make the town centre feel more attractive for residents, businesses and tourists.

South Somerset District Council has been working with Hydrock & LHC Design to come up with ideas and concepts for five key areas in the town centre, including:

  • The Borough area
  • The Bandstand area
  • Westminster Street/High Street area
  • Middle Street area
  • Wyndham Street area

These concepts include ideas of how the area could look, but we want to hear your views and opinions on how the areas could look and what they should include.

You can submit your feedback from Saturday 20 July between 10am and 3pm when Officers from the Yeovil Refresh project team and consultants from Hydrock will be displaying the plans as part of the public consultation taking place at the Borough in Yeovil town centre.

All the proposals will be published online from Saturday 20 July where you will be able to view them and send your feedback to the project team. The consultation will run until Saturday 17 August.

Councillor Peter Gubbins, executive portfolio holder for Yeovil Refresh, said: “We want Yeovil town centre to be a vibrant place to live, work, learn and visit and to do that, we need the town centre to look nice so it attracts more people. This is the perfect opportunity for you, the public, to tell us exactly what it is you would like to see in the area.”

At the same time as consulting on the public realm and collating feedback, a Public Realm Design Guide will be produced by South Somerset District Council. This guide will set the framework and quality standards for any future work.

A Shopfront Design Guide is also being put together which will be used as a framework to inform the improvements to shop frontages within the town centre of Yeovil. The Council consider that Yeovil town centre would benefit from a programme of shop front enhancements to compliment the public realm enhancements.

Why enhance the public realm?

Feedback from the public, stakeholders and businesses at the initial Yeovil Refresh public consultation told us that there were a number of priorities you wanted us to address. Many of these were aimed around the public realm, including:

  • You'd like to see the main high streets kept clean and better kept with nicer planters and other greenery, while keeping the streets from being too cluttered.
  • You'd like to see improvements in vehicular and pedestrian access into the heart of Yeovil for locals and visitors
  • There are concerns about some vehicle access to parts of the town centre (in particular on Middle Street)
  • You'd like to make the town's open areas more appealing, using the space that is available to encourage visitors.

There are economic, health, environmental and social benefits to enhancing public areas, all of which will help to create a dynamic and distinctive regional centre where Yeovil will be a place of choice for businesses, residents and visitors.

What has been done so far to enhance public areas?

We have recently had a Traffic Regulation Order agreed by Somerset County Council that will help to reduce the overall amount of vehicles travelling into the town centre via the High Street. Users of the town centre will see changes to the some of the roads which will benefit shoppers, enabling them to feel a lot safer.

The top end of Middle Street will still be open to vehicles, but only during set periods of time. Loading and unloading will be able to take place on Middle Street up until 9.00 am, the initial proposal sought to remove this movement altogether.

Disabled and loading bays from one side of the road (Marks and Spencer’s side) will be relocated into adjacent streets resulting in minimal overall loss of these bays. Existing bays directly adjacent to WH Smiths will remain in-situ. Wine Street will become a pedestrianised area with no vehicular access. There are also other changes to Peter Street, Union Street and South Street.

The TRO will come in to effect at midnight on Monday 22 July 2019.

What are the next steps following the consultation?

We will use your feedback to inform the design of the public realm proposals, which will be incorporated into the public realm design guide, shop front enhancement guide and help to inform the proposals for the priority project areas identified.

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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