A comprehensive masterplan for central Andover has been published which includes the Chantry shopping centre being replaced with a new mixed-use development.

The masterplan, due to be considered by Test Valley Borough Council on September 28, would see major redevelopment of the town centre. If councillors approve, the search will begin for a development partner.

The proposals have been developed over the last year by HemingwayDesign and NEW masterplanning. Consultation with more than 4,000 residents, businesses and other stakeholders helped shape the vision.

It aims to better link the High Street to the surrounding area and appeal to independent retailers.

The Chantry Centre will be replaced with mixed use development, including units for independent retailers, health, community and leisure uses, space for pop-up retail with offices and apartments above.

A new theatre – The Lights – will overlook a new public square and a riverside walk will open up the, largely hidden, River Anton.

A wellbeing quarter around Andover Leisure Centre will include a new college campus, part of a green corridor between the river and Vigo Park.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Cllr Phil North, said: “Town centres are changing. They are becoming more of a place for leisure and living as well as retail – and everyone’s efforts have helped create a plan to ensure Andover town centre is fit for the future.

“Of course, the hard work doesn’t end here, rather this marks the beginning of a huge project to create a new era for Andover – and our next step will be to identify a developer partner, or an alternative delivery mechanism, to bring these plans to life.

“We’re living in extraordinary times but I firmly believe that regeneration remains the key to recovery and I am absolutely committed to taking this forward as quickly as possible.”

Lora White from NEW masterplanning, said: “Andover has so much promise and we really wanted to do the town and its residents justice. It has all of the key elements: a fascinating history and striking Georgian architecture; a growing independent business community and a beautiful river, which helps to set it apart from many other town centres.

“We have sought to really amplify those elements and open up the High Street to make it feel more connected to the wider town centre.”

Wayne Hemingway from HemingwayDesign, said: “Town centres are evolving and Covid-19, has accelerated this shift in focus. Andover has so many assets that allow it benefit from this evolution, including its historic streets and compact layout.

The masterplan and flythroughs, can be seen at www.thinkandovertowncentre.co.uk

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