£34m Keynsham regeneration plan gets the go-ahead

Published on: 06 Nov 2012

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£34m Keynsham regeneration plan gets the go-ahead

“Let’s get on with it” was the message delivered to councillors deliberating the proposals that will transform Keynsham’s town centre.

The revised designs, drawn up by architects and a community focus group, won the backing of B&NES Council’s development control committee on October 24, meaning work can get under way on the town’s regeneration.

Artist's impression of Keynsham regeneration

It was the second time the proposals had been before the committee, after members previously deferred a decision and called for changes to be made, mainly to the roof design and cladding on the buildings’ exterior.Artist's impression of Keynsham regeneration

Speaking at the meeting ahead of the vote, Councillor Charles Gerrish said: “It’s fair to say the design does not have overall public support. But a clear majority of views expressed to me is that we have spent long enough talking about it, it’s time we got on with it.”

Roger Busby, speaking on behalf of Keynsham Civic Society, said the group supported English Heritage’s continued opposition to the designs because of concerns over the development’s impact on the conservation area.

The revised plans were approved, however, with 12 votes in favour and one against. Artist's impression of Keynsham regeneration

After the meeting, Councillor David Bellotti, Cabinet member for community resources, said: “This scheme will bring new jobs, greater prosperity, and an improved look and feel to Keynsham.

"It is excellent news that momentum is generating for this project following the approval of these plans as Bath & North East Somerset Council works in partnership with the local community to breathe new, vibrant life into Keynsham.”

The £34 million scheme includes space for shops and restaurants, a new library and One Stop Shop and council offices. It is planned that the development will be complete in autumn 2014.

Discussions are continuing over the future of the neighbouring Riverside site, where options include housing or retirement accommodation, and consultation will be carried out with the community before a decision is made.

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