Wednesday, June 07, 2017

People will soon get the chance to share their views on two possible options for the redevelopment of Oakham Town Centre.

Rutland County Council is in the early stages of looking at possible options to improve Oakham Town Centre.
A project to improve the centre of Rutland’s County Town has been the subject of discussion since the opening of Oakham Bypass in 2007.
Before the bypass, the main function of Oakham High Street was to move large volumes of traffic, including heavy goods vehicles, through the town. Although the road is now used primarily for retail and social interaction, the layout and street scene remain unchanged. 
One of the Council’s main priorities is to ensure that Rutland’s market towns are vibrant and attractive to both residents and businesses and the authority’s latest corporate plan includes a target to implement an Oakham Town Centre improvement scheme by the end of September 2018. 
“Oakham has seen considerable change in the past 10 years. Along with the opening of the bypass, we’ve witnessed a boom in online retail and an increase in the popularity of out-of-town shopping destinations, all of which means that people no longer need to come into town centres. It’s important for Oakham’s future that the town moves with the times and adapts to these changes, so that it continues to be a wonderful place where people want to live, work and visit.”
Councillor Tony Mathias, Leader of Rutland County Council  
As part of the first stage of the Town Centre Improvement Scheme, Rutland County Council has approached community leaders and local groups such as Oakham Town Council, Oakham Town Partnership and the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group to seek their views.
Based on the feedback received, the Council will produce outline designs which will be put out to full public consultation in the summer of 2017. This will lead to the development of a detailed design which will be subject to further consultation in early 2018.
“Oakham is the County Town and the impact of any improvement scheme will be felt beyond local residents and businesses. We are still in the very early stages but our plans include lengthy consultation with the wider public as well visitors to the area. We hope the outcome of this process will be a shared vision for the future of Oakham Town Centre and, ultimately, a revitalised High Street that we can all be proud of and enjoy.”
Council Leader Tony Mathias


YOUR CHANCE TO HELP IMPROVE OAKHAM TOWN CENTRE

People will soon get the chance to share their views on two possible options for the redevelopment of Oakham Town Centre.

Rutland County Council has been consulting with a number of local groups on the very early stages of a project to improve Oakham High Street.

So far, this has involved a series of meetings with Oakham Town Council, the Town Partnership and the Oakham Neighbourhood Plan Working Group to find out what design features they would value most.

This feedback has been used to create two possible designs that will shortly be put out to public consultation, allowing residents to have their say.

Dave Brown, Director for Places at Rutland County Council, said: “Oakham Town Centre should be the vibrant heart of our County and although we have a great sense of community among residents and some fantastic local businesses, the High Street isn’t set up to make the most of this.

“The groups that represent people and businesses in the town have told us they’d like a High Street with less traffic and congestion and more space for people to walk, shop and relax. This has helped us settle on two options for the Town Centre that would make these improvements possible.”

Option A for the redevelopment of Oakham Town Centre is to have a one-way system between New Street and Mill Street, with wider pavements, trees, a revised parking layout with loading bays for shops and more public seating.

Option B would keep the current two-way traffic flow along the High Street but introduce an enhanced pedestrian environment and road space to calm traffic and give greater priority to pedestrians. Both designs also include improvements to the Market Place.

Dave Brown added: “This is your opportunity to help make Oakham Town Centre better. The views of local people are at the heart of our plans and we want to know what you think – which option do you prefer, what do you like or dislike about the designs. All of this feedback will then be taken into consideration and help us to develop a more detailed design. This is a really exciting project for Oakham and we’re looking forward to people seeing and commenting on the proposals for the first time.”

Consultation around the proposed designs for Oakham Town Centre will take place from 14th June to 7th July 2017.

As well as information on the Council’s website, outdoor exhibitions will be held in Oakham Market Place on the following dates so that people can see the designs up close and ask questions:

Wednesday 14th June, 8.00am to 7.00pm
Friday 23rd June, 8.00am to 5.00pm
Saturday 24th June, 8.00am to 5.00pm

Once this first consultation phase is complete, Rutland County Council will review all the responses and produce a detailed design based on the feedback they receive. This detailed design will then be subject to a second round of public consultation in the autumn. It is hoped work to implement a final design will begin in spring 2018.

Further information about the Oakham Town Centre Improvement Scheme and how to take part in the consultation can be found online by visiting: www.rutland.gov.uk/oakhamtowncentre 

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