The Regent Street Development Project is to convert the current brownfield “garage area” into an upgraded car park, to provide parking for the residents of Regent Street and a small number of affordable homes. This project has numerous advantages, including:
- The realisation of a long-held desire within the community to redevelop and regenerate the small tranche of unsightly and unkempt land at the centre of the village.
- Installation of village car park which creates more spaces than are currently available on that land, in a properly designed car-park
- Creation of affordable, predominantly low-rise accommodation, in close proximity to the public transport infrastructure and amenities of the village, as requested by our parishioners.
- Electrical Vehicle charging, which will be essential as Government policy phases out combustion engines in the next decade.
- Cycling infrastructure
The area to the rear of Regent Street was purchased by the parish council in the 1990s as the previous owner, ICI, was withdrawing from the area and disposing of their assets. There were concerns that the land would be used for an unsuitable development and the residents of Regent Street, who parked their vehicles behind their houses, would lose that facility.
Over the following two decades, the council leased plots of land on that site for the erection of garages or other temporary structures to house motor vehicles. Despite charging a fraction of the national rate, the number of tenancies fell and over half the site was not let in 2019.
Furthermore, the state of the area – with dilipidated garages and unmaintained plots – combined with the complaints of misuse, noise, and general nuisances from neighbouring properties, and the maintenance costs had caused the land to become a drain on the community. Village surveys in 2005, 2013 and 2017 all highlighted that area as possible locations for new affordable housing, and the council crystalised these plans in their Neighbourhood Plan in 2015, passed in July 2019.
In 2019, a small number of concerned parishioners called a Parish Poll, the first of its kind within the unitary authority, that returned a further mandate to continue with the redevelopment, and turn this wasteland into a much-needed car park and a wonderful set of bungalows and homes.
The documents, relating to the Regent Street redevelopment can be found here.
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