The future of Basingstoke town centre is under discussion in a new consultation exercise.

Residents are being asked to give their views on initial ideas put forward in a masterplan by HemingwayDesign who will take forward ideas with Allies and Morrison.

Initial ideas include making the town centre more accessible on foot and by bike with the possible introduction of new traffic zones, introducing two-way traffic on New Road, creating a new bus interchange at Churchill Way and a new multi-storey car park in New Road.

More green open spaces are proposed in Church Street and in an area known as the Top of the Town and there will be new planting throughout.

The most popular suggestions on how to improve the town centre included more independent shops, independent cafes and restaurants, more cultural space and better open space to hold events and festivals.

HemingwayDesign came up with five key principles – place, purpose, prosperity, progressive and participatory and now Allies and Morrison is working on how to change the physical arrangement of streets, spaces and buildings. 

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s cabinet member for economic development Cllr Hannah Golding said: “It is vital that we develop a long-term vision to deliver our aspirations of ensuring our town centre is a top shopping, leisure and cultural destination that attracts people to the area during the day and at night.

“This is central to our priority of boosting economic recovery and meeting our ambitious climate change targets. 

“Allies and Morrison and HemingwayDesign have used the feedback residents, visitors, community groups and town centre partners provided earlier this year to develop some early ideas, setting out opportunities to guide how we could develop the town centre.

“Although these aren’t proposals, the bold ideas aim to kickstart a debate about how we can ensure the town centre has a vibrant future.

“It is vital that we hear your views to help shape the emerging vision and masterplan and guide our work with partners and ensure that the suggestions being put forward sound like the kind of town centre that you would visit for years to come.”

Director at Allies and Morrison Steve Walker added: “The concept masterplan principles showcase the proposed ideas to set the future direction for the town centre over the coming decades and it builds upon Basingstoke’s existing strengths and assets to create a framework for change to make the town resilient and adaptable to changing trends. 

“A place that is distinctive and a unique blend of the historic and new. We welcome the views of local people to comment and contribute to help shape the masterplan and projects that will flow from it.”

Early ideas being put forward can be seen and commented on at until Friday, November 12.

HemingwayDesign and Allies and Morrison will finalise their proposals and publish a final vision and masterplan later in the year.

A decision on whether to adopt the new strategy will be taken by councillors in Spring 2022. 

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