Saturday, May 5, 2012

And another report into St Neots Town Centre

Another report into St Neots Town Centre? According to the Hunts Post, the Town Council and the District Council are applying for part of the Mary Portas £ million. The problem I have with all this is what is wrong has been looked at and examined. What is needed is larger retail units and more car parking.

It has long been recognised that St Neots needs larger retail units as the current size of the units are unattractive to major retailers. The Civic Report points to a few locations which aren't easy to achieve. What is needed is the District Council to decide that it is willing to use compulsory purchase powers to assemble the land for any development. That is a hard.

The easy way is to redevelop The Priory Centre. Not that this will bring in any new larger retail units. The councils have to be seen to do something. Redeveloping The Priory Centre is doing something. But redeveloping The Priory Centre will do nothing for the Town Centre itself. It is just easy as the Council are the owners of this area.

The focus of any report on the future of the Town Centre must be on providing larger retail units on the High Street and/or Market Square. Anything less will mean another lost opportunity.


Various Reports on St Neots Town Centre.
Civic Report 2004
Perceptions Report 2007
Priory Waterfront 2008
Town Centre Benchmarking 2010


Mr Wilson said...

Hi Rednek

Difficult to see how we can attract large retail into the Town Centre without large scale demolition of one side to allow HGV access and )as you said) larger retail units.
As far as improving the Priory Centre is concerned I want to applaud the Town Council. Just because it's easy doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. It appears that some thought and effort has gone into what they're trying to do. Nodoubt some will complain and disparage but on the whole I think congratulations are in order.

Julia said...

And don't forget the Healthcheck. Continual reports, very little action.

There would be space for a major retailer or two if they got a grip and moved things out of the very centre that didn't need to be there -like the old phone exchange on a prime site. Also, create incentives for shopworkers and local shoppers to travel in other than by car so that the dead space in car parks can be used - a large retail unit could be created, say, on the car park and yard at the rear of Beales. Or put car parking underground.