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15 August 2019, 14:51 | Updated: 15 August 2019, 14:54
Northampton Borough Council say some headline results are now through from May's questionnaire of residents asking people about their thoughts on the various ideas for the town centre's regeneration.
The area's which are being looked at include Gold Street, Market Square, Greyfriars, Fish Street and St Giles Street and Abington Street (Eastgate)
Those filling in the questionnaire were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the changes suggested for a variety of areas across the town, or if they were unsure.
The Council say the response was largely positive with those agreeing significantly outweighing those who disagreed in every case:
* Abington Street – 55% for, 10% against
* Drapery – 48% for, 11% against
* Marefair and Gold Street – 53% for, 6% against
* Fish Street and St Giles Street – 64% for and 6% against
Responses for Market Square offered slightly more mixed views (50% for and 24% against) and Greyfriars (49% for and 23% against), though the public offered suggestions for these areas and there was still a clear consensus for the vision based on their responses.
Council leader Jonathan Nunn said:
“It’s really good to see how many people gave up significant amounts of time to offer their thoughts – because of the very detailed written responses they made, the average time spent responding was over 40 minutes.
Responses were positive around the changes that have been proposed within the masterplan, with particularly strong support for more residential provision within the town centre and encouraging more independent shops and other businesses.
That said, a good number of people still clearly feel our current bus station offering needs to be further improved.
We’re factoring all of these comments into our thinking around the detailed masterplan, while not losing sight of the majority of those who favoured the outline proposals we put forward.
As we said at the outset, our town centre plans will only succeed if they reflect the wishes of Northampton’s residents, and that’s absolutely what we’re determined to make sure they do.”
More than 82% felt food and leisure uses should be encouraged in the town centre, many supported additional residential use – particularly in Abington Street –and a large proportion favoured more bars, restaurants and retail in Market Square.
“The responses show that a reasonable number of people are uncertain about the proposals and haven’t felt able to say they’re either for them or against them,” said Cllr Nunn.
“They clearly remain to be convinced, so all we can do is factor the comments we’ve received into a more detailed masterplan and see how that is received.”
Detailed responses are still being collated and a document outlining the results will be published in due course.