From the very start of the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) project the intention has always been to provide an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime regeneration project to improve the town centre in North Walsham.
Questions raised during consultation
During our consultation via our online surveys and face-to-face sessions, there were a few key questions that came up time and again. The section below list these questions and offers some of the answers. Please browse below to read them.
It looks like all of these decisions have already been made - why are you asking for our opinions?
A: Absolutely no decisions were made prior to consultation. Feedback has greatly influenced changes and adaptations to the scheme to provide a final design that best meets the needs and wants of most of the people.
What will you do with our feedback?
We are using the feedback to inform the final scheme designs. We are publishing the final report of all the feedback that we received via the recognised channels
How will investing in the public realm and highways attract more people and new businesses to the town?
The hope is that the new layout will provide an additional reason for shoppers and visitors to come and to stay longer in the town centre. Research suggests that more open and safe spaces to circulate, browse, sit, eat and drink improve the vitality of town centres, and consequently their economy.
How have we engaged with the town’s youth, especially those who live in North Walsham?
We asked and talked to over 150 young people about their thoughts, comments via a specifically designed survey and series of engagement events. This has yielded a different set of results available for all to read in the final report.
Why are we proposing pedestrian friendly spaces, when nearby ‘successful’ towns like Holt aren’t doing it?
Each town is different. Holt has many pedestrian friendly retail areas and its own traffic circulation challenges. North Walsham is an historic market town but its assets are marred by the impacts of traffic on its main commercial street. Our proposals aim to provide a different reason to come and visit, shop and stay.
What are we doing to understand the impact of making the Market Place more pedestrian friendly and the traffic patterns around the town centre?
We are monitoring traffic flow in and around the marketplace and exploring options to mitigate the perceived adverse impacts, such as traffic calming, direction signage and a new bus interchange.
Why isn’t King’s Arms Street part of this proposal: "It’s one of the most dangerous streets in the town?"
We recognise the impacts of the narrow street and inconsistent pavement along King’s Arms Street on property occupants and pedestrians and are seeking to understand what impacts the town centre scheme may have. The Scheme is restricted by geographical and budgetary constraints but we are exploring options that we hope will help alleviate and not exacerbate the current problems, such as an additional safe crossing and signage to direct vehicles via other routes. We are also working with the County Council Highways Department to explore wider improvements to the road network.
How will businesses in the Market Place get their deliveries?
We have worked with all the businesses in the town to properly understand what their individual needs for collection and deliveries are - via a separate specific survey. Following the results of this, we have amended plans to allow deliveries/loading all day.
Where and how many free parking spots will there be? How long can you park there?
There has been agreement that free parking spaces will be made available in both Bank Loke and Vicarage Street Car Parks to replace those lost from the Market Place. It is anticipated that these will be for one hour, rather than the current 30-minute on street spaces.