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Second stage of consultation to open for Romsey’s future

Plans to transform the area south of Romsey’s town centre are to take the next step later this month with the start of the second stage of the consultation.

Last year, more than 1,500 people of all ages gave their thoughts and ideas on how to improve the area around the bus station and Crosfield Hall. Now, the Romsey Future partnership, together with Test Valley Borough Council, is to launch the next consultation which will discuss what may work.

The views of residents, visitors and businesses have all been encapsulated into a draft masterplan with partners Nexus and Perkins and Will, which will be unveiled in the next few weeks. Ideas discussed in the first stage included the future of Crosfield Hall, making the area more pedestrian friendly and making the most of the waterways.

The next stage will build upon those ideas and explain what has been taken on board and what may not work for the area.

Next month, two citizens’ assemblies will also be held on how to maximise the area south of the town centre. Fifty local residents will be chosen at random to form the assembly which will be given key facts and figures as well as evidence from experts, to then help make a series of recommendations. These will then be considered as part of the masterplan process for the area.

The assembly is a government pilot exercise that Test Valley Borough Council was selected to be a part of earlier this year.

Chair of Romsey Future, councillor Nick Adams-King, said: “We were clear from the outset that the views of residents and businesses would be key to driving the way forward in looking at what might work for this area.

“Having reviewed the feedback from residents on what was a completely blank canvas to start with, we have now tested their ideas and have identified a shortlist we feel would be workable which we will continue to look at together with Nexus and Perkins and Will. This is where we need the thoughts of the public once again to tell us what they would like to see from the ideas that have now been pulled together.

“Together with the Citizens’ Assembly that is being held next month, we are hoping to get the best possible outcome for the town. We want to maximise the benefit to Romsey while keeping the character that makes Romsey so special and that’s what this project is all about.”