The Cabinet had before it a *report from the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration updating members on work to date, but also critically to provide an indication of future direction in response to the pandemic and the climate change declaration. It also provides an indication of when future reports will be considered by Cabinet and identifies key potential geographical areas for strategic intervention.
The Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration stated that the work relating to regeneration and investment masterplanning for Tiverton town centre commenced prior to the current pandemic. Given the implications of COVID19 upon the local economy and town centre activity and the opportunities to embed tackling climate change into our approach to town centre regeneration, the report set out a way forward to encapsulate those issues with regard to strategic planning for Tiverton town centre.
Work on the Town Centre Regeneration Masterplan for Tiverton commenced in 2017 and was to set a basis for enhancing the economic prospects of the town in a way that was broader than a purely spatial plan. It was to include wider issues than the look and environment of the town centre, but the role and function of the town centre, Tiverton’s identity and its unique selling points.
Initial public consultation was undertaken between 30th April and 10th June 2018 with a summary of the consultation feedback being presented to Cabinet during November 2018. The results of the consultation had informed both the masterplanning work undertaken since and the ‘quick win’ proposal for Fore Street which was subsequently paused. In addition, the Premier Inn had been opened and the multi-storey car park had been refurbished. An overhaul of the pedestrian signage had also been initiated with designs agreed with the Town Council and the Town Centre Partnership.
Mid Devon District Council had also adopted the Devon Climate Change Declaration with a commitment for net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
More recently, high streets had suffered the biggest decline in their fortunes in living memory due to COVID19 - particularly the effect on our local economy and high street businesses. Any regeneration plans for the town needed to consider those impacts if they are going to be ‘fit for purpose’ in a changing high street environment.
This report therefore set out a process to develop a long term town centre recovery plan. It described a range of outputs including prioritisation of strategic interventions and proposals that could be delivered in the short term to make a meaningful and lasting contribution towards COVID19 related recovery. The work would complement immediate work being undertaken to enable the town to reopen and operate safely during the pandemic. Importantly, work towards COVID19 recovery also provides opportunities to put the Council’s commitment to the climate change declaration at the heart of the town centre’s role, function and regeneration.
Given the scale of the challenge and the complexities involved in town centre regeneration a suite of documents were proposed and identified.
Given the scale of the impact of COVID 19 and the need to ensure that the Council’s commitment to climate change was adequately reflected in Tiverton’s regeneration plans there were a number of initial steps that needed to be taken and/or reviewed:
The Town Centre Vision
The emerging key themes from public consultation
Key geographic areas for intervention
Prioritisation and identification of quick win projects
It was proposed that these work streams were developed with close working between officers, Cabinet and Ward Members, the Town Council, the Tiverton Town Centre Partnership and other stakeholders. It was hoped that the draft masterplan to be presented to Cabinet in December 2020
Consideration was given to:
· To the cost of yet another consultation on the masterplan, what the proposals would be, what was the branding and the marketing proposed and how much would that cost.
· The need for the masterplan to have 2 stages of consultation in line with the supplementary planning document guidance and the need to include the climate declaration
a) the report be NOTED.
b) the direction of travel of the emerging work including the potential locations for intervention be endorsed and informs the next stage of work in preparing a draft Masterplan document and accompanying documentation including a Delivery Plan.
(Proposed by Cllr G Barnell and seconded by Cllr S J Clist)
Reason for decision:
To endorse the direction of travel over emerging work, the locations for intervention and to inform the next stage of work.
Note: *Report previously circulated, copy attached to minutes.