North Norfolk District Council undertook a series of robust consultation events, which have included: workshops; exhibitions; focus groups; public meetings and business meetings.
It has always been recognised that the consultation was not a referendum on the project. It was designed to make sure that we were able to listen to and collect views, opinions and issues from the people who live, work and visit North Walsham. All of this information has been fed in throughout the development of plans and designs of the public spaces and to the proposed Highways changes.
As a result we have amended and altered some of the proposals. We have been able to factor in and mitigate some of the effects of the changes and where possible make alterations to the scheme that will be delivered.
Alongside these physical changes to the town, the project is also about the restoration and reinstatement of traditional shopfronts and the repair and restoration of heritage buildings in the town centre. The project also brings a rich and diverse Arts and Culture programme to compliment the building improvement works.
- There is strong support overall for the designs for the public spaces in the town.
- The Market Place was the highest priority to improve, although among young people the Shambles area and Black Swan Garden came out at the top.
- There was a very positive response to the idea of creating communal spaces for relaxation and gathering.
- Consultation respondents told us that any plans needed to encourage people to spend more time in the town centre.
- There is concern over the impact of additional traffic on other alternative routes if the marketplace does not have through traffic.
- Concerns were raised about making the Market Place more pedestrian friendly - with no vehicle access or parking for anyone.
- Business owners were concerned about the impact on loading and delivery restrictions.