Proposed revamp for Cirencester's Market Place garners praise from leading figures in the town

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Proposed revamp for Cirencester's Market Place garners praise from leading figures in the town Proposed revamp for Cirencester's Market Place garners praise from leading figures in the town

A SCHEME to regenerate the heart of Cirencester has attracted praise from some of the town’s leading figures.

Cirencester’s town centre could be given a drastic facelift that would give it the look of a more traditional Cotswold market place, if a planning application is approved by Cotswold District Council.

Cirencester mayor Joe Harris has given the plan his full support and described the proposed regeneration scheme as “great”.

He said: “We [Cirencester Town Council] had a successful consultation period and gathered over 1,000 responses with the majority of people wanting to see some form of redevelopment.

“Of course, there are people who are doubters of the scheme but we have clear goals on what we want. We want to make sure the town is economically viable for the future.”

The new plans will see kerbs, clutter and traffic eradicated in favour of getting priority to pedestrians in a controversial “shared space” strategy.

Traffic will also be reduced to a single carriageway on the south side of the road to open up a pedestrianised zone in front of Cirencester Parish Church.

A number of bicycle racks and benches have also been added to Cirencester Town Council’s final design.

Anthony Flynn, president of the Cirencester Chamber of Commerce, told the Standard that the redevelopment is one project the organisation is keen to be involved with.

He said: “We recognise that this is a significant issue for Cirencester and that there are strongly held views for and against.

“I will be asking members to make their view known through a vote, so that when we formally enter the debate we are genuinely representing the views of our membership. Either way, the Chamber is keen to see progress.”

Peter Grace, a local historian and trustee of the Living Memory Historical Association, said that while he had reservations about the “shared space” strategy, the proposal should be welcomed.

He said: “I’m all for doing up the Market Place. I don’t think we need something like an Italian piazza but it will be good to have a designated place for the market so we can carry on doing what we’ve done for donkey’s years.”

The application will now be sent to Cotswold District Council’s planning committee where a final decision will be made.

Comments (4)

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2:38pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Geoff66 says...

Com'on this isn't a drastic yet alone a dramatic revamp of the Market Place...if anything it doesn't go far enough. Nor are pedestrians really the winners with these plans, otherwise we would be seeing the total pedestrianisation of the Market Place.

Yes it is a start, i will grant you that, but it isn't part of an overall regeneration plan for the whole of Cirencester....which should be looking at the town as a whole rather than as a series of smaller scale projects (i.e. the Market Place, a new Cinema development, etc).... nor does it reflect on going developments and changes, including plans to increase Cirencester's housing numbers and therefore it's resident numbers.
Com'on this isn't a drastic yet alone a dramatic revamp of the Market Place...if anything it doesn't go far enough. Nor are pedestrians really the winners with these plans, otherwise we would be seeing the total pedestrianisation of the Market Place. Yes it is a start, i will grant you that, but it isn't part of an overall regeneration plan for the whole of Cirencester....which should be looking at the town as a whole rather than as a series of smaller scale projects (i.e. the Market Place, a new Cinema development, etc).... nor does it reflect on going developments and changes, including plans to increase Cirencester's housing numbers and therefore it's resident numbers. Geoff66

11:46am Mon 13 Jan 14

Cotswold Lad says...

Sadly the "leading figures" are just the Mayor, President of the Chamber of Commerce and local historian - surely the Standard can do better than that to whip up support?
How about asking the householders who will be faced with paying £50 a year for the next 20 years - a whopping £1,000 - to fund the revamp what they really think.
How about asking the mothers of nursery and primary school children what they think about taking away the traffic lights?
How about asking the Market and Farmers Market stall holders how much more they are going to pay for operating in the revamped space?
Come on Standard reporters ... ask the questions instead of publishing PR pap.
Sadly the "leading figures" are just the Mayor, President of the Chamber of Commerce and local historian - surely the Standard can do better than that to whip up support? How about asking the householders who will be faced with paying £50 a year for the next 20 years - a whopping £1,000 - to fund the revamp what they really think. How about asking the mothers of nursery and primary school children what they think about taking away the traffic lights? How about asking the Market and Farmers Market stall holders how much more they are going to pay for operating in the revamped space? Come on Standard reporters ... ask the questions instead of publishing PR pap. Cotswold Lad

3:53pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Electricbiker says...

I have lived in Cirencester all my life and seen many changes, I cannot see how the town can justify spending such a disgusting amount of money on re-vamping the market place and its character being lost forrever when I see roads leading into the town littered with potholes and un-kept verges which are un-welcoming to visitors and recently residents are being asked to pay for the grass to be cut on estates. It is the people of Cirencester who will have to foot the re-vamp costs for years with increased Council Tax charges and its crazy for just a small plot in the centre that is being looked at and the broader picture being ignored
I have lived in Cirencester all my life and seen many changes, I cannot see how the town can justify spending such a disgusting amount of money on re-vamping the market place and its character being lost forrever when I see roads leading into the town littered with potholes and un-kept verges which are un-welcoming to visitors and recently residents are being asked to pay for the grass to be cut on estates. It is the people of Cirencester who will have to foot the re-vamp costs for years with increased Council Tax charges and its crazy for just a small plot in the centre that is being looked at and the broader picture being ignored Electricbiker

5:39pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Geoff66 says...

Cirencester's problem is that it has stood in limbo for far too long!! Nothing has be done to keep Cirencester in pace with other towns around the Cotswold's, and as such we have lost the vision of what Cirencester needs to do to continue to be a central Market Town, yet alone a visitor hotspot.

We have also seen other towns and villages around the Cotswold's take over the glory or becoming visitor hotspots, and at the same time Cirencester is clearly no longer the focus for people to come and shop, especially with the growing ease of getting to places like Swindon, Cheltenham, Gloucester, yet alone Bristol, Bath and Oxford, or the growing practice of establishing out of town shopping centres and complexes.

What is Cirencester's draw? and why would you come here? these are now serious questions which need to be asked

Surely we need a comprehensive plan which will look at the long-term needs and aspirations of Cirencester and it's PEOPLE, and as such I am not sure that piece-meal redevelopment and regeneration will work in this instance,

+ What is the point of revamping the Market Place, if at the same time we are not prepared to look at Cricklade Street and Dyer Street? These are after all integral elements of the town's shopping experience and townscape!

+ What do we need to do to improve the overall look and appeal of Cirencester in order to encourage more visitors and tourists? Does our regeneration/ redevelopment plan (if we have one) look at our plans to increase tourism, visitors and our cultural identity? Do we actually have a comprehensive plan and vision for our town???

+ What shops and facilities do we need to attract more shoppers and visitors? Do we have the right mix of retail and provisions? and what plans do we have in place to secure the long-term financial sustainability and security of our town?

+ Does Cirencester's regeneration / redevelopment plan look at creating opportunities for job creation and job security? If we were to succeed in turning around Cirencester's fortunes, what plans are in place to create new provisions and facilities? (Do we have the space to do this is all we are doing currently is looking at building new and increasing numbers of homes??)

+ how can we adapt our disappointing market to make it a major draw for shoppers and visitors alike, yet alone re-establish Cirencester's reputation as a "principal Market Town" (The current market is an utter disgrace and you only have to visit other local town's to see what a disappointment our market is)

+ what do we need to do to encourage more people to come into the centre of our wonderful town? How do we improve our signage, roads, roadsides, green-environment, etc... to encourage more people to stop and stay? yet alone cope with the current "blink and you have missed it" status of the town due to our ring-road

+ How do we establish a new Cirencester which is"fit for purpose for at least the next twenty years"? yet alone how do we create a town which will provide for ever increasing numbers of people and a rising numbers of local residents (3,500 new homes already planned for Cirencester and more than likely this will grow)

I can go on and on....and other people have their own thoughts on the future of our town and what is needed. However, what is clear is that a costly revamp of the Market Place, without taking into account the bigger picture, yet alone consider the town's growing needs, and the need to establish a new comprehensive plan and vision for the town, is surely a pointless exercise.

How on earth can we be heading for a vote on this planned development when it simply doesn't stack up??? I rest my case
Cirencester's problem is that it has stood in limbo for far too long!! Nothing has be done to keep Cirencester in pace with other towns around the Cotswold's, and as such we have lost the vision of what Cirencester needs to do to continue to be a central Market Town, yet alone a visitor hotspot. We have also seen other towns and villages around the Cotswold's take over the glory or becoming visitor hotspots, and at the same time Cirencester is clearly no longer the focus for people to come and shop, especially with the growing ease of getting to places like Swindon, Cheltenham, Gloucester, yet alone Bristol, Bath and Oxford, or the growing practice of establishing out of town shopping centres and complexes. What is Cirencester's draw? and why would you come here? these are now serious questions which need to be asked Surely we need a comprehensive plan which will look at the long-term needs and aspirations of Cirencester and it's PEOPLE, and as such I am not sure that piece-meal redevelopment and regeneration will work in this instance, + What is the point of revamping the Market Place, if at the same time we are not prepared to look at Cricklade Street and Dyer Street? These are after all integral elements of the town's shopping experience and townscape! + What do we need to do to improve the overall look and appeal of Cirencester in order to encourage more visitors and tourists? Does our regeneration/ redevelopment plan (if we have one) look at our plans to increase tourism, visitors and our cultural identity? Do we actually have a comprehensive plan and vision for our town??? + What shops and facilities do we need to attract more shoppers and visitors? Do we have the right mix of retail and provisions? and what plans do we have in place to secure the long-term financial sustainability and security of our town? + Does Cirencester's regeneration / redevelopment plan look at creating opportunities for job creation and job security? If we were to succeed in turning around Cirencester's fortunes, what plans are in place to create new provisions and facilities? (Do we have the space to do this is all we are doing currently is looking at building new and increasing numbers of homes??) + how can we adapt our disappointing market to make it a major draw for shoppers and visitors alike, yet alone re-establish Cirencester's reputation as a "principal Market Town" (The current market is an utter disgrace and you only have to visit other local town's to see what a disappointment our market is) + what do we need to do to encourage more people to come into the centre of our wonderful town? How do we improve our signage, roads, roadsides, green-environment, etc... to encourage more people to stop and stay? yet alone cope with the current "blink and you have missed it" status of the town due to our ring-road + How do we establish a new Cirencester which is"fit for purpose for at least the next twenty years"? yet alone how do we create a town which will provide for ever increasing numbers of people and a rising numbers of local residents (3,500 new homes already planned for Cirencester and more than likely this will grow) I can go on and on....and other people have their own thoughts on the future of our town and what is needed. However, what is clear is that a costly revamp of the Market Place, without taking into account the bigger picture, yet alone consider the town's growing needs, and the need to establish a new comprehensive plan and vision for the town, is surely a pointless exercise. How on earth can we be heading for a vote on this planned development when it simply doesn't stack up??? I rest my case Geoff66

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