Views are being sought on a masterplan that will help shape the future of Loughborough town centre for the next 15 years.
A study commissioned by Charnwood Borough Council sets out a number of proposals to develop the town centre and ensure its viability and vitality.
The proposals fall into four categories:
- Improving the public realm (which generally covers street surfaces/furniture/planting/signage/public art)
- Traffic and parking
- Sites for development
- Events and business support
The masterplan also identifies eight character areas across the town centre and explains how these should be developed.
A consultation has now been launched (Wednesday, August 9) and will run for six weeks.
Cllr Eric Vardy, lead member for planning and inward investment, said: “The health and vitality of Loughborough town centre is economically important to the whole borough and I am pleased this draft masterplan sets out a number of options.
“It provides us with a vision for the future and one that can be used by the Council, our partners and developers. Its success will rely on strong collaboration and being able to attract investment into the town centre.
“The masterplan also reflects the challenges raised by the growth in online shopping as the focus for town centres changes towards leisure uses such as cinemas, food and drink uses and entertainment.
“We have already had conversations with local businesses to help develop the masterplan so far and, now we have a complete draft document, we want further views. Please tell us what you do like, what you don’t like and help us build a better future for Loughborough.”
There are a number of proposals including making the town centre more pedestrian friendly and providing better links between key areas including Loughborough University, the railway station and the parks.
The masterplan proposes introducing two-way traffic in Southfield Road to reduce vehicle numbers in Bedford Square and Ward’s End
It also identifies six key sites for potential development including Baxter Gate which it says would be suitable for a retail-led development, including a two-storey car park.
The masterplan proposes holding a number of events in the town centre based around Loughborough’s unique identity as a market and university town with a rich industrial and cultural heritage.
For more information or to have a say on the masterplan, please visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/masterplan2017. The website contains a summary of the proposals and the full masterplan document.
A display about the masterplan is also being held over two days at Loughborough Town Hall. The display will include information about the masterplan and officers will be on hand to answer questions. The display is at Loughborough Town Hall on Friday, August 11, 12pm-5pm and Saturday, August 12, 9am-5pm. From August 14, the exhibition will be housed in the reception area at the Council offices in Southfield Road, Loughborough.
The deadline for responses is September 22, 2017.