Draft plan to save Yarmouth town centre still a work in progress
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014
A £115,000 masterplan which was meant to come up with ways to save Great Yarmouth town centre over the next 15 years is still a work in progress.
In June last year, the Mercury reported the retail and town centre team from consultants Carter Jonas had been tasked with looking at ways to strengthen the town centre.
And although at the time council leader Graham Plant said it could take 12 to 18 months until the plan was ready, documents from a public exhibition held in August and September last year said the masterplan would be ready in June this year.
But as of yet the plan hasn't been released, with a council spokesman saying it was important to take the time to do things right.
In a statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: 'Last year, the borough council launched the Town Centre Initiative in response to a major borough-wide consultation, which identifies as top public priorities the town centre, economic development and regeneration.
'As part of this, the council held a successful initial public consultation last summer to kick-start work to develop a Town Centre Masterplan, which aims to shape a clearer future for Great Yarmouth town centre and make it more attractive for residents, tourists and investors.
'In addition to the initial public consultation, input was sought from specific stakeholders, including representatives of town centre shops, market traders, councillors and relevant council officers, as well as Norfolk County Council.
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'Officers have been busy behind the scenes, considering feedback and gathering more evidence, in order to ensure the draft masterplan they are developing is economically viable and meets people's needs and aspirations, before it goes out to public consultation in the autumn.
'It is important to take the necessary time to ensure the draft strategy is deliverable and right for the borough.
'The masterplan is the longer-term element of the council's wider Town Centre Initiative. In the shorter term, the council has already made a number of improvements over the last year, including enhanced town centre events, better marketing, visual improvements, and a dedicated cleaning operative for the Market Place.'
At the moment, the council is aiming to run the consultation on the draft masterplan in early autumn, with officers currently looking at potential dates in October.