LOCAL people to Wiveliscombe are being asked to give their views on the recently published report for a new vision for the town centre.

The vision builds on results from previous consultation and it proposes a one-way system in West Street, a raised platform for The Square with a safe crossing, design restrictions to stop problems from bad parking, and updating The Square to improve the town centre’s appearance.

A project steering group involved members from the town council, local businesses and organisations, and local people with regeneration experience.

The group was chaired by ward councillor, Dave Mansell, who said: “Our aim has been to listen to what local people want and to enhance our own town centre as a hub for the community and visitors."

The vision report has been prepared by town planner Richard Guise and highways consultant Phil Parker.

The place-making project has been established by a town recovery steering group for Wiveliscombe.

It is one of a number of local projects funded by Somerset West and Taunton Council, the European Union and Government.

In July 2021, the steering group agreed to fund a place-making project to prepare a plan for improving The Square.

This will include traffic management and parking in the town centre and will look at the role of the Town Hall.

The first phase of consultation took place in October 2021.

Online and face-to-face questionnaires posed four open questions which used a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) approach to consider all aspects of the town centre and The Square. 152 people answered.

Consultation then took place online at wivey.co.uk in January and early February 2022 and via face-to-face events held at Wiveliscombe Community Centre.

Some of the outcomes from that consultation were:

  • Make a place that puts people first, not vehicles,
  • Retain current trees and add another one or two,
  • Retain the seats with a preferred location by a tree,
  • Reduce clutter and improve design in The Square,
  • Remove or relocate the artwork,
  • Install obstacles to prevent vehicles going on pedestrian part of The Square but favour, for example, blocks of carved stone as opposed to planters (maintenance and upkeep problem) or bollards, and
  • Need to support businesses working in the town square.

A summary and the full report can be viewed at www.wivey.co.uk, where feedback can also be given.