Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council appointed a team of experts to look at how places can be transformed, including HemingwayDesign, Allies and Morrison and JLL, to help develop the ambitious Town Centre Strategy for Basingstoke.
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, had success in attracting investment and new retailers in recent years, the pandemic meant that town centres across the country continue to face significant challenges, such as a decline in footfall and shop closures.
Along with improvements to the public realm and work to encourage people to visit the town centre, the Vision and Masterplan for Basingstoke set the future direction for the town centre over the coming decades. The Masterplan is more of a process than a product and it reflects the fact that there are different landowners and interests in the town and that circumstances will continue to change as projects are delivered.
The Masterplan has been produced through a pivotal period. The role and nature of town centres continues to evolve. The contraction in high street retail and the accelerating pressures of climate change are forcing us to think again about our buildings, spaces and lifestyles. The pandemic brought in a re-evaluation of working patterns as well as our homes and green spaces.
Extensive public consultation shaped the initial vision and masterplan principles for the future of the town centre and, together with detailed baseline technical research, guiding the development of the masterplan.
The Masterplan will be subject to more detailed studies and technical tests.
The public consultation Basingstoke Town Centre Car Parking Strategy, as advised by WSP, was the last stage towards finalising the wider strategy to regenerate the town centre.
Following this, the Basingstoke Town Centre Strategy, including the Vision and Masterplan, and the Car Parking Strategy were adopted by Cabinet in December 2022.