New Plans for Future of (Taunton) High Street
We have reported previously on plans being developed by the landlord of Debenhams, Taunton. Whilst the future of the department store remains uncertain, they were keen to look at alternatives.
A series of plans and revisions have been put up for public consultation. Whilst they are intended to be specifically for Debenhams, they talk to the future of High Streets in general. This is why the project caught our eye. As more and more High Street chains go out of business, this sort of project becomes highly relevant. It starts to ask the question “What is the 21st Century High Street for”.
The final stage of the consultation begins on Thursday 24 September, when the most recent work will be published on the consultation website for public feedback. In addition, there will be a webinar on Tuesday 29 September, 6pm to 7pm to give members of the public the opportunity to ask questions directly. The consultation website is at www.19to26NorthStreet.co.uk, and registration for the webinar is direct via bit.ly/19to26NorthStreetWebinar
The main change in this latest version of the plans relates to the residential element of the plans. In the initial iteration, these had been age restricted – aimed at over 55s. This aspect of the proposal drew a number of negative comments so the plans are now for unrestricted accommodation.
The final consultation will focus on the design of the building and the reasons for the design decisions taken. In addition to public feedback, designs have been shaped by emerging local policy and discussions with Somerset West & Taunton Council.