Kennet Council Killing Devizes - yet again!
DEVIZES will continue to deteriorate as a retail centre unless a new development in the central car park goes ahead...report from town planning consultancy Gillespies....redevelop the central car park between Tesco and Somerfield.
Neither supermarket has expressed any interest in becoming part of the scheme and they are not best pleased that the 162 parking spaces may be lost.
Although it is a more expensive option, Gillespies recommends that underground parking for 150 cars is created below the proposed new development.
This will still result in a large loss of parking space in the town centre because Gillespies recommends the redevelopment of a large part of the Station Road car park for housing to subsidise the retail development at the central car park.
Plan To Fill Car Park With Shops Is Backed (from The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
WILTSHIRE County Council has supported a plan to build shops on the central car park in Devizes, despite acknowledging that a loss of parking will hit the town's retail viability.
Yesterday's meeting of the county's environmental advisory panel agreed to support Kennet District Council's preferred option, proposed up by its town planning consultant Gillespies, to build two large retail units and five smaller ones on the area that currently offers pay-and-display parking.
A report from George Batten, director of environmental services, said: "The rural nature of Devizes means that a high proportion of shoppers are dependent on the car as their sole means of transport.
"The proposed loss of car parking could have a significant impact on its attraction as a retail centre."
Mr Batten's report takes issue with Gillespies' contention that Devizes is over-provided with both on and off-street car parking spaces.
He said: "It is clear from a parking study undertaken for the county council in 2000 that demand for spaces exceeded capacity on market days.
"The car parking survey undertaken by Gillespies as part of their study is not considered to be a reliable indicator of current trends."
A local story but happening everywhere - Kennet Council are mad, mad as fishes; Devizes is a pretty old market town in Wiltshire which historically has been the centre for shopping for the surrounding area, it continues to be so. It is also having a lot of new houses built on its outskirts. As with many old towns the centre is a bit scruffy and lacks large shops (most buildings are listed and can't be redeveloped).
Kennet Council has a very active "forward planning" section which happily doodles away creating five year plans at vast expense, and when they have run out of ideas they employ expensive consultants to create some more. The latest is outlined above - Get rid of the parking to create more shops to attract more shoppers who won't be able to park... (The idea of an underground car park is risible, no supermarket will be involved in a scheme that includes underground car parking as they know women don't like parking in a dark damp piss-stinking needle-strewn hole).
Kennet Council - mad, they are just mad with power.
(And there are alternatives - for instance one large site in the centre of town belongs to the Kennet Council and just has Totem poles set in the dog turd dotted grass - obviously more important than catering for nasty car drivers...)