Plans for new shops, cinema, restaurants and huge town centre multi-storey car park to come before council It’s hoped the plans would reduce the number of out-of-town retail developments that “negatively impact” the town centre.
Proposals which include new town centre shops, restaurants, a cinema, hotel and 800-space multi-storey car park will be heard by a Devon council next week.
The plans form part of a parking strategy for Barnstaple in North Devon and will come before North Devon Council’s executive committee on Monday.
The council hopes to explore the proposals in the hope of reducing congestion and air pollution in the town, while also cutting the number of out-of-town and edge-of-centre retail developments that may “negatively impact the town centre”.
The plans were born after a report from Hydrock Consultants and JLL, who were commissioned by North Devon Council (NDC) and Devon County Council (DCC) to carry out a study and review of car parking in Barnstaple.
The study says that Barnstaple and North Devon is projected to see “a considerable amount of economic growth and development” between now and 2031 which will “undoubtedly have an impact on traffic levels and the numbers of car drivers in the town”.
Surveys were conducted with businesses and shoppers across four days in April 2017. More than 9,000 surveys were issued with more than 1,300 completed – a response rate of 14.68%.
The results of the study and several recommendations for the council to “explore” are included in a report written by North Devon Council’s economic growth manager, Ellen Vernon.
In November DevonLive exclusively revealed that plans to bring a multi-screen cinema, restaurants and a hotel to the centre of Barnstaple – which were first discussed almost a decade ago – could be back on the cards.
In 2008 North Devon Council revealed major plans for the redevelopment of a 12-acre site between Queen Street and Bear Street which included a multiplex cinema, bowling alley, shops, restaurants, cafes and a 90,000 sq ft department store.
An exhibition of the proposals went on display to the public, but the plans were eventually mothballed due to the economic downturn.
However, in November Ellen Vernon told DevonLive the council was “looking at the Queen Street and Bear Street site for leisure units, which include restaurants, a hotel and a cinema”.
“We want visitors to come into Barnstaple from the coast not just because it’s raining, but because we have great things to offer.”
The report is due to be discussed by North Devon Council’s executive committee on Monday.
2018 is set to be a big year for retail developments in Barnstaple.
The new entrance to Green Lanes Shopping centre was unveiled in November, and just before Christmas owners Rockspring revealed that a newly created unit at the mall would be filled by a Loungers bar and restaurant.
Meanwhile, several new stores and food outlets will be arriving this year as the Anchorwood Bank development progresses.
Restaurant chains Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito have already confirmed their presence at the 8,000 square metre out of town shopping area, as have clothing and homeware store Next and furniture retailer DFS.
A large Asda store, which opened in November 2016, formed the first phase of this massive project which will also include to 172 houses.
Source: Devon Live
Image: An artist’s impression of the Queen Street and Bear Street development from 2008