Issues

The old town hallWe engaged the community to look at the issues that we needed to tackle in the neighbourhood plan.

We created thematic groups to work to a brief around clusters of issues and held a series of workshops around particular issues and themes including:

Sites

across the town centre including the Cheapside site and canal frontage, vacant and underused areas, car parks, ways of making best use of land to sustain a viable, vibrant town centre;

Economic

looking at the current mix of retail, hospitality, workshop and office uses in the town centre. Current economic proposals, ways to tackle the empty properties, increase footfall on weekdays and longer term economic potential of canal and rail improvements;

Social

issues providing the right kind of spaces for cultural activities, enhancing their use, catering for the current social composition of people living in the town centre, and the parish, and balancing this with those of workers and visitors. Looking at  population trends, spaces available in the town centre, including upper storeys, and current housing proposals;

Environment

issues for the town to secure biodiversity and tree cover (including Frome Valley/canal corridor), maintenance of open spaces, views in and out of the town centre to/from the surrounding landscape and looking at current proposals, for example for the canal corridor;

Quality

addressing listed (and other valued) buildings, their status and condition, the current treatment, quality and maintenance of streets and spaces, issues of noise and air pollution in the public places and looking at current proposals that shape the public realm and quality of the town centre;

Movement

around and across the town centre, looking at pedestrian routes, barriers to movement and “cul-de-sac” areas, unsafe or awkward pedestrian routes or road crossings, provision for cyclists, routes and their quality, and parking, bus routes and stops, frequencies and levels of use, traffic circulation, parking provision and levels of use and current proposals.