New plan will unlock opportunities for Cirencester town centre
Release date: 4 October 2018
It is widely recognised that town centres up and down the country are facing increasing pressures and uncertainty as a result of changing lifestyles and shopping habits.
Cotswold District Council and Cirencester Town Council are committed to working together to address these pressures and will soon be engaging widely with the local community and local businesses to develop a plan which should ensure that Cirencester’s town centre retains its appeal and vibrancy into the future. The Local Plan commits the Council to prepare a masterplan relating to the town centre.
In taking the plan forward, the councils will jointly consult with key stakeholders, including the Chamber of Commerce, Civic Society, retailers, local businesses, and the public. The plan will focus on the regeneration of key sites in the town centre - paying specific regard to the conservation of the historic environment and other notable heritage assets whilst being flexible enough to cater for potential changes in the nature of the high street into the future.
Commenting on the plan, Cllr Nick Parsons, CDC Acting Leader and Cabinet Member for Forward Planning, said:
“The Local Plan’s strategy for Cirencester Town Centre includes proposals relating to development of various sites within it and was adopted by the Council in August 2018.Critically the Local Plan enshrines the Council’s aim of increasing the existing parking provision in the town centre, whilst seeking to reduce congestion and pollution.
The Council recognises the importance of car parking in the town centre and through its Local Plan it makes clear that only when sufficient additional car parking has been provided, will consideration be given to the future of any town centre sites. Where land is identified as surplus to requirements the Council will consider its redevelopment for alternative, beneficial town centre uses, in consultation with residents and businesses. The agreement to work with the Police and Crime Commissioner to secure the future of the Magistrates Court and Police Station safeguards against unwelcome speculative development proposals for uses which may not support the health and vitality of Cirencester’s important retail centre.
We will be working in partnership with the Town Council and other interested parties, including the retail community, to create a plan that shapes future development, community space and infrastructure in a way that enhances the existing assets in the centre while encouraging inward investment to ensure future prosperity.
The District and Town Councils will be running a major town centre conference to discuss these issues in early December. Details of this event will be published later this month.”
Chairman of Cirencester Town Council, Councillor Nigel Robbins said:
“We are fully committed to retaining a healthy retail sector in the town centre with car parking as a top priority. Together, these are fundamental aspects of our joint work and a core aspect of our consultation with local business and the wider public.”
The councils are already discussing the best way to move forward on the plan, and will soon be announcing proposals to consult more widely.
The Local Plan is available on the Council’s website: /residents/planning-building/planning-policy/local-plan-2011-2031/
An interactive version of the Local Plan is also available at: https://cotswold.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=885eb94398bf4819b17bd66d64275e59
Local Plan Policy S3 sets out the strategy for the Cirencester Central Area (town centre).