Strategy for the future meets opposing views

PUBLISHED: 09:01 18 January 2008 | UPDATED: 15:38 11 May 2010

LOOKING AHEAD: One of the visitors to the exhibition on the Royston town centre strategy takes a look at the scheme on display at Market Hill Rooms on Saturday. Picture: DANIEL WILSON

LOOKING AHEAD: One of the visitors to the exhibition on the Royston town centre strategy takes a look at the scheme on display at Market Hill Rooms on Saturday. Picture: DANIEL WILSON

A STRATEGY to shape the future of Royston town centre has been met with opposing views. Cllr Rod Kennedy told Royston Town Council s planning committee on Monday evening that the scheme was disappointing . But then Cllr Lindsay Davidson urged members to

PICTURE OF CONCENTRATION: Strategy plans come under ­public scrutiny.

A STRATEGY to shape the future of Royston town centre has been met with opposing views.

Cllr Rod Kennedy told Royston Town Council's planning committee on Monday evening that the scheme was "disappointing".

But then Cllr Lindsay Davidson urged members to be "positive" about the strategy.

The town centre strategy was launched on Saturday morning with a public viewing at Market Hill Rooms.

The exhibition has now been transferred to Royston library where it will remain until to end of the six-week public consultation period on February 22.

Meanwhile, the town council has decided to set up a working party to examine the strategy so that it will be able to respond to North Herts District Council.

But Cllr Kennedy said: "The strategy is disappointing and some of the ideas are impossible to implement."

He said the scheme gave the appearance of simply being "a wish list".

And he was criticial of the past when he said that previous town centre schemes in 1974 and 1990 included "ideas still waiting for action".

"The strategy needs to be robust and have objectives that must be met," he said.

Cllr Davidson, however, said the town council had to display the "right approach and attitude" towards the scheme.

She pointed out that there were positive aspects of the strategy which needed to be persued.

"We have to work with the district council on this and show that we are a credible partner," she said.

But she said that there was a demand to see certain parts of the strategy implement sooner rather than later.

And Cllr Robert Smith said: "We have to concentrate on the short-term and do something sooner than in five years.

"We owe that to the town."

Indeed, that strategy has been divided into a short-term plan over five years; a medium-term plan over 10 years and a long-term plan over 15 years.

The strategy has earmarked seven areas for development and enhancement.

# The town hall site

# Royston Cross

# Angel Pavement

# Market Place, the old cattle market and the Corn Exchange

# The Warren car park

# Fish Hill square

# Princes Mews

And the key points of the strategy are:

# Building on Royston's postion as an historic market town

# Establishing a united community working together in the interests of promoting the town

# Ensuring any new building is of high quality and in keeping with the conservation area;

# Protecting public open space from development;

# Using innovative design in new buildings to reduce waste and energy consumption;

# Providing enough parking while ensuring the town centre is accessible to pedestrians.

Cllr Richard Thake, the district council's portfolio holder for planning said the public consulation gave residents the "opportunity to influence" improvments to the town centre.

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