Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has appointed a team of experts in looking at how places can be transformed, including HemingwayDesign, Allies and Morrison and JLL, to help develop an ambitious strategy for the Basingstoke town centre area.
High streets across the UK continue to experience the effects of changes in shopping habits. Although Basingstoke town centre, including Festival Place and The Malls, has had success in attracting investment and new retailers in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that town centres across the country are facing significant challenges, such as a decline in footfall and shop closures.
Along with early interventions and work to encourage people to visit the town centre, the draft vision and masterplan for Basingstoke is being drawn up to set the future direction for the town centre over the coming decades. A masterplan is more of a process than a product and the draft concept masterplan reflects the fact that there are many different landowners and interests in the town and that circumstances will continue to change as projects are delivered.
This study has been produced through a pivotal period. The role and nature of town centres has been changing significantly with the contraction in high street retail, the accelerating pressures of climate change are forcing us to think again about our buildings, spaces and lifestyles and the pandemic has brought in a re-evaluation of working patterns as well as our homes and green spaces.
Extensive public consultation has shaped the initial vision and masterplan principles for the future of the town centre and, together with detailed baseline technical research, has guided the development of the masterplan.
Following the latest round of public engagement, the draft masterplan will be subject to more detailed studies and technical tests. The vision and masterplan will be finalised before a decision on whether to adopt these key documents will be taken by councillors in spring 2022.