Weston-super-Mare Town Centre Regeneration - Draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

Weston-super-Mare town centre regeneration Draft SPD

Introduction

1.1 Backgroundimage36

In March 2015 North Somerset Council published the Prospectus for Change. This document sets out ambitious plans for the town centre to create a lively university town where people want to live, learn and spend their leisure time. The vision aims to deliver a stronger, vibrant and prosperous town centre better equipped to deal with current and future challenges. The themes of living, learning and lifestyle form the focus of town centre regeneration, with the aim of attracting more people to live in and visit the town centre, increasing footfall and vitality. The ambition set out in the document gained wide spread support.

 

1.2 Policy

The principle of regenerating and revitalising the town centre is established in Core Strategy Policy CS29: Weston-super-Mare Town Centre which identifies the town centre as a focus for development. The adopted Sites and Policies Plan: Part 1 sets out the policies for development management issues including detailed retail policies to support a town centre first approach for shopping, a more focussed primary shopping area and introduces greater flexibility regarding uses in the primary shopping frontages. The Site Allocations Plan Consultation Draft (March 2016) sets out the town centre regeneration area and proposes that a supplementary planning document (SPD) will establish a masterplan and delivery strategy in order to support its implementation. A report to the Executive in April 2016 set out the overarching principles and priorities for the SPD. See table 1.

 

1.3 What is a supplementary planning document (SPD)?

Supplementary planning documents are:
‘Documents which add further detail to the policies in the Local Plan. They can be used to provide further guidance for development on specific sites, or on particular issues, such as design. Supplementary planning documents are capable of being a material consideration in planning decisions but are not part of the development plan.’ (National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Annex 2).

The Weston Town Centre Regeneration SPD;

  • Sets out a Masterplan to guide future planning of the town centre;
  • Identifies the key development sites and infrastructure projects which the council are proposing
  • Helps to remove barriers and positively encourage investment

The SPD sets out the principles and overall plan for this area. It is to be used as guidance and can be material to the determination of planning applications. It will guide development but cannot foresee all potential opportunities. Indeed, in many instances flexibility to respond to innovative solutions and changing circumstances will be required.

The document is structured as follows:
Section 1 sets out the how the themes of living, learning and lifestyles will be the focus for regeneration
Section 2 contains the masterplan, identifies the main development sites, the movement strategy, areas of open space and greening, heritage and design principles and character areas
Section 3 details how the main proposals will be delivered.

 

image371.4 Plan area
The area within which the SPD will apply is the town centre regeneration area as set out in the Site Allocations Plan Consultation Draft March 2016. Figure 1 illustrates the area. Whilst the guidance set out in this SPD applies within the designated area, regeneration and restoration is not limited to this. The renaissance of the Tropicana and potential restoration of Birnbeck Pier will contribute to the overall regeneration aims. Links with the area beyond the town centre by promoting access to the wider landscape are required as well as measures aimed at encouraging residents living in the suburbs and further away to use the town centre.

 

1.5 How the guidance has been formulated

The guidance has been informed by the responses received to the Prospectus for Change, work commissioned from LDA Design, advice from Historic England’s Urban Panel and other specialists.

 

1.6 Consultation and adoption

Consultation will take place on this draft for 6 weeks, closing on 12 December 2016. The response to consultation will be assessed, a consultation statement will be prepared and amendments proposed to the SPD as appropriate. It is anticipated that the SPD will be adopted by the council in the New Year 2017.

To view a larger version please click on the map.

26872 Weston Town Centre Master Maps 1 1

OVERARCHING PRINCIPLES

  • To significantly increase the number of people living, working and making use of the services and cultural offer in the town centre.
  • To improve the quality of the offer and positively change perceptions about how and when people use the town centre.
  • Kick-start regeneration by making direct interventions and taking a supporting and enabling approach to delivery of growth in the town centre.

PRIORITIES

1 The provision of at least 1000 new homes, aimed mostly at home owners, to rebalance the tenure structure in the centre.

2 The regeneration of underused brownfield sites in a priority zone stretching from the railway station to the seafront, mainly for residential use, with significant public realm improvements including a tree lined boulevard along Station Road, Walliscote Grove Road and Carlton Street.

3 To prioritise quality design solutions which respect, respond to and utilise the heritage of the town and which achieve high quality contemporary housing and public space specifications.

4 Define character areas throughout the regeneration area which set clear design guidance for future development.

5 Support and encourage owners of existing groups of prominent or heritage buildings in poor repair to carry out coordinated improvements, such as those carried out at The Centre in July 2016.

6 Managing traffic to create a core area that provides priority to pedestrians and cyclists, shared space schemes, quietways, with safe, attractive, and convenient parking for residents and visitors and delivering a cycle-friendly town.

7 Delivering a greener and more sustainable town centre, with a coordinated high quality public realm that enhances the town’s character, provides relaxation areas and pedestrian corridors linking key destinations, integrating planting, trees and SuDS.

8 Improving the links between the seafront and the town centre, in particular the improvement of Regent Street as one of the prime pedestrian routes.

9 The reconfiguration of Alexandra Parade as a transport interchange and high quality public space, reducing through-traffic and providing a central hub point for information and access into the town centre and train station.

10 The improvement of Town Square as a key leisure and event space.

11 Focussing the retail offer into the prime shopping area and prioritising improvements to the High Street whilst supporting innovation/specialist outlets.

12 Expanding primary school provision including a safeguarded school site or premises

13 Delivering a smarter town by integrating digital uplift and infrastructure provision.