Central Basingstoke vision
A vision for Central Basingstoke
The borough’s population is forecast to grow over the next 20 years from about 157,000 to 177,000, and Basingstoke’s central area will need to continue to adapt and change accordingly. The scale of the potential change created an opportunity for the council to work in partnership with local people, businesses and other public agencies to develop a shared vision that will achieve an even more attractive and successful town centre.
Some of the issues affecting the centre of Basingstoke (for example those related to the national/global economy, the future of retailing) extend beyond the council’s remit and control. The importance of the town centre cannot be under-estimated and extends well beyond local considerations.
Cities and towns compete with each other across county and regional boundaries, and their town and city centres are vital components in people’s views of each place. Basingstoke’s town centre is a crucial element in the wider image of the town and borough.
The Vision for Central Basingstoke was adopted by the council in December 2007 and sets out an inspirational and exciting vision for the future of the town over the next 20 years or so.
The vision has been produced in response to extensive public consultation. This confirmed that there is a great deal about Basingstoke town centre that is successful and well-liked. As a shopping destination in particular, Festival Place has had a significant impact on raising the town centre’s image. Central Basingstoke is, and must be, more than its shopping.
There are many other attractions on offer across the wider town centre but these must be managed carefully if the central area is also to be a desirable place to live for an increasing number of people.
The council’s Vision builds on Basingstoke’s successful shopping heart by widening the appeal of the town centre to provide a ‘day out experience’.
In order to achieve this, enhancing the vitality, accessibility, character and appearance of the streets, spaces, and areas that lie immediately around and beyond Festival Place will, over the next couple of decades, be just as important as sustaining the success of that shopping centre.
These include established areas, such as Basing View, the Top of Town, The Malls, the Town Parks - as well others - such as around Eastrop roundabout, parts of New Road, lower Church Street - that are less well-defined or developed as distinctive and attractive ‘places’ in terms of both their vitality and appearance.
The Vision seeks to create a well-connected town centre; one where there are easier and more convenient links between its different parts. Being well-connected will ensure a greater synergy between the different activities, venues and attractions that are found across the central area.
The Vision for Central Basingstoke strengthens existing policies to provide the council with a strategic framework, under which its future actions may be evaluated and prioritised. It will also support the council’s adopted strategy on the night-time economy and the need to ensure that increased vitality and accessibility is compatible with town centre living. A concept plan summarises some of the ways that the council, in partnership with others, could begin to work towards a well-connected town centre for Basingstoke to ensure that it develops fully as a social, cultural, employment, and shopping destination.