Monthly Archives

April 2021

Moving forward with public realm improvements in Wincanton Town Centre

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The town centre enjoys an abundance of attractive heritage buildings however, the Wincanton Town Centre Strategy which Owen Davies Consulting worked on as part of the team led by Chilmark Consulting identified that its footways and public spaces would benefit from  enhancement.

An improved public realm will support existing businesses by creating a better environment in which to trade and by providing improved spaces for community activities. A more attractive town centre will also help to change perceptions and encourage new businesses, more visitors and longer stays which will help to revitalise the town through increased footfall and spending.

The public realm designs have been prepared by Element Urbanism on behalf of South Somerset District Council will help to improve perceptions, support existing businesses by creating a better environment  in which to trade and provide improved spaces for community  activities. This will increase the attractiveness of the town  encouraging people to visit and stay longer, revitalising the town through increased footfall and spending.

You can view the full design package here

What do you think? Let Owen know, he’s is a place shaper and skilled regeneration consultant with experience covering over 60 towns and city centre locations across the UK. In 2020, Owen was chosen by the government commissioned High Street Task Force as one of their Expert Panel Member.


Making it easier for the high street to trade outdoors

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To support the high street, hospitality and tourism sectors, the Welsh Government are temporarily relaxing planning control to make it easier to erect and leave up marquees and other temporary structures, have street furniture outside businesses and change the use of a retail unit.

The ‘new temporary permitted development rights to support economic recovery’ published this month covers:

  • Temporary use of land is allowed for an additional 28 days
  • Use of land for the holding of markets by local authorities
  • Temporary changes of use to enable businesses to trial alternative uses within town centres for a short period of time
  • The use of the highway adjacent to premises falling within Class A3 (food and drink) for the purposes of selling or serving food or drink
  • Awnings over external areas where customers and members of the public congregate to be served food or drink

We have worked closely with the hospitality sector over recent years to champion the flexible use of outside spaces including our proposals in Cardiff’s Mill Lane and Swansea’s Wind Street. Planning and licensing rule can be a problem for business wishing to trade flexibly outdoors and this is an important temporary step in support the reopening of businesses and their efforts to create safe environments for the public using the high street, and spending with the hospitality and tourism sectors. However, the Welsh Government say they will be monitoring the impact of these amendments with a view to making broader, permanent amendments to the GPDO next year.

The link to the Welsh Governments Statement

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