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Holyrood Street future parking proposals: Your chance to give your views

| Your Area West

As part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone project, we want to make improvements to Holyrood Street and we want to hear your views on our proposals.

Because of its special character, Chard has been designated a “High Street Heritage Action Zone” and £2m has been secured to invest in revitalising its town centre.

The investment is from South Somerset District Council and Historic England and will be used to make last physical improvements to the historic high street.

Improvements to the public realm – the pedestrian areas of the street, – will help to create a high quality town centre environment for local people and visitors, including better access to shops and businesses that are based there. This is all part of Chard’s wider economic and social regeneration.

As part of this work, we plan to build the pavement out in places along Holyrood Street, replace some of the standard on-street parking with bays reserved for blue badge holders, and move the loading bay alongside the supermarket to outside the Bath House Hotel.

The plans see a total of six disabled parking bays introduced alongside seven standard bays which will allow all shoppers to access the shops quickly and easily. In addition, these proposals will:

  • provide safer places for pedestrians to cross the street by improving visibility of traffic
  • provide places for pedestrians to pass each other without having to step into the road
  • increase and improve access to the town centre for blue badge holders
  • reduce traffic on Holyrood Street, for a safer and more pleasant pedestrian experience
  • provide potential outdoor seating space for cafes or restaurants
  • provide more pavement space for loading/unloading deliveries
  • improve visibility of the shop fronts, buildings and streetscape, so the historic character of the Holyrood Street can shine through, making it more of a destination within the town.

Artist's impression of what Holyrood Street could look like.

How can I have my say on proposals?

With coronavirus restrictions in place, we recognise that this is not the ideal time to be consulting on these proposals because we’d prefer people to be using this area now. However, it is important that we do consult now in order to keep the Chard Regeneration Scheme work on track.

We therefore ask you to base your response to our consultation survey on your experience of Holyrood Street as if it is under normal circumstances.

You can have your say on the proposals by visiting our consultation area of the website at www.southsomerset.gov.uk/consult or by visiting the Chard Holyrood Street consultation direct at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/HolyroodSt.

We are consulting on the proposals for four weeks, so please ensure you have your say by 5pm on Monday 21st December.

Councillor Jason Baker, portfolio holder for the Chard Regeneration Scheme, said: “Holyrood Street is a really popular area for shopping and offers a quieter experience in the historic heart of Chard. But at the moment, access along the street is challenging because of its narrow pavements and long stretch of parked vehicles. The proposals aim to enhance the area and give safer pedestrian routes through the town whilst making the shops and businesses more accessible to all. We urge everyone to have their say on the proposals so we get a balanced view from all users.”

During previous public consultation, you told us that:

  • the quality of Chard’s streets is lacklustre
  • there is desire to reduce the dominance of traffic
  • there is desire to improve safe pedestrian routes through the town
  • making Holyrood Street more accessible is important
  • free on-street parking is appreciated
  • there is considerable support for a modest reduction in on-street parking to allow improved/expanded pedestrian space.

The public realm work on Holyrood Street aims to address the things that you told us, as we work towards boosting the economy of the town centre of Chard.

What is the Chard Regeneration Scheme?

Following extensive research and guided by suggestions previously made by Chard residents, South Somerset District Council has worked with partners to develop an ambitious strategy which will bring significant changes to Chard and the community.

Chard Regeneration focuses on regenerating the Boden Mill site in the centre of the town, and components include a new leisure centre and swimming pool, alongside a blend of housing and commercial developments. In addition to this, the scheme will deliver a number of other measures to boost business in the town centre, support events and revitalise the market. The High Street Heritage Action Zone is part of this.

What other improvements are happening in Chard?

We recently announced that Area West Committee took the decision to help fund a new gateway site for Chard. This Chard Gateway regeneration scheme is located at the Silver Street junction with Fore Street and will upgrade the area to help improve the image of the town and for the town to become more appealing to business retailers, shoppers and visitors; aiming to increase footfall in the town centre itself.

The scheme complements the Boden Mill site scheme and the work being done through High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) to make improvements to the high street.

We have been awarded  £1 million of Government high street funding through Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone programme and this has been match-funded by SSDC, giving a total of £2 million to spend in the historic heart of Chard’s shopping area.

This money will be invested in and around Chard Fore Street, including repairs to a number of historic buildings, renovating shopfronts and improving the streetscape to make it safer and more attractive to residents, businesses, visitors and shoppers.

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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