IMPROVING WHITCHURCH TOWN CENTRE

 

 

Hampshire County Council, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Whitchurch Town Council, the Whitchurch Association and Working4Whitchurch have teamed up to improve the town centre. It is part of a wider package to assist the local economy and develop tourism.

 

In 2004 a TOWN HEALTH CHECK by residents and businesses showed the town centre looks ”drab” and this discourages shoppers and visitors.

 

The then Whitchurch Town Association then set out a VISION - based on a welcoming, safer and more attractive town centre which is more pedestrian friendly and safer.

 

Following further public consultation, a TOWN ACTION PLAN was agreed.

 

£125,000 is being contributed by the three councils. This includes £2,000 from the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) as part of a grant of £120,000 – secured by the previous Town Centre Manager and Working4Whitchurch - to help the economy and tourism parts of the Action Plan.

 

 

HAVING YOUR SAY

 

 

Earlier this year questionnaires were sent out to 2,200 households in Whitchurch seeking views on the main points of the Action Plan.

 

In addition to improving the environment,  actions were;

·       developing the visitor economy.

·       supporting local businesses, and

·       appointing a town centre manager.

 

Improving the environment included the following:

·       safer footways in the town centre.

·       repaving the town hall forecourt to assist the elderly and disabled.

·       Improving the appearance of the Bell Street car park and Great Lane as the main arrival point to the town.

·       Removing unattractive street clutter, and

·       Grants to improve property fronts in the town centre.

 

The environmental proposals received overwhelming support; 92% of respondents approving, 2.5% against.

 

 

PROPOSED WORKS

 

 

The project is being steered by Councillors of the County, Borough and Town Councils, Whitchurch Association and Working4Whitchurch. It is hoped that works can start in next Spring.

 

The Steering Group considered arrange of options. The plans show the agreed proposals.

These may need to be amended when all the financial, legal and technical matters have been finalised. The proposals at present are as follows:

 

Town Hall Forecourt - the detail is here

·       Replacing the uneven surface with “easy to walk on  stone paving with wheelchair access to buildings.

·       Replacing dilapidated seats and street furniture.

·       Resiting refuse bins to the rear of the properties with consent of owners.

·       Providing planters and a bigger notice board.

·       Improving security at the side of the Town Hall.

 

The Square, Bell Street and London Road

·       Providing new dropped kerbs.

·       Tidying up and repainting street furniture and remove clutter.

·       Removing the vacant tree grill in The Square and resiting the refuse bin to that position.

·       Repainting light columns.

·       Replacing missing setts in the mini roundabout.

·       Replacing missing bollards, repainting and straightening existing ones.

·       Inserting pedestrian warning signs to alert motorists about children crossing the road to and from Town Bridge.

 

Bell Street Car Park and Great Lane - the detail is here

·       Tidying up all shrub planting areas and adding new trees / shrubs where appropriate.

·       Resurfacing the parking bays in the main car park – to chime with the appearance of the gravel overflow car park bays.

·       Marking out bays in the overflow car park and modify to allow for 9 more spaces overall.

·       Repairing the Great Lane railings, resurfacing the Great Lane footway if finances permit.

·       Inserting additional public notice boards on the toilet block.

·       Replacing the light columns to match those in Bell Street.

·       Improving the street name plates and direction signs, removing clutter.

·       Relocating and screen the recycling bins.

 

The previous Library site has been sold for housing. Plans for its redevelopment are currently being considered by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

 

 

 

If you have any queries, please contact Phil Cooper on 01256 845216 or email: [email protected]