Keynsham town centre streets will be called Market Walk despite challenge

Published on: 06 Aug 2014

The streets in Keynsham's new town centre development will be called Market Walk, B&NES Council has  announced, despite a challenge launched by local councillors.

The £34 million redevelopment is on track to open this autumn, the authority says, with Sainsbury's and Loungers already confirmed for units at the site. An unnamed occupier from Riverside is also moving to the new site.

The decision by council chiefs to call the streets Market Walk, however, has been met with anger by local councillors and residents, who put forward their own suggestions in public consultation only to be told they were "unacceptable".

Keynsham North councillor Brian Simmons  "called in" the decision by cabinet member for community integration Katie Hall to support the council's name Market Walk, with a scrutiny panel then asking her to reconsider her decision.

Mr Simmons said many hours were spent discussing names by Keynsham Town Council, the Keynsham Development Advisory Group (KDAG) and the town centre development focus group, before they suggested Prospect Place and Cheapside, which were also turned down.

He said: "I am incensed at the waste of officer time and councillor time debating it for around six hours in total before the council dismissed what we said. Why bother to have consultation?

"I called it in because I did not like the way they made the decision, which I feel showed a certain arrogance to the people of Keynsham.

"A public vote, like that held for the town clock, is the most democratic way to decide. I hope they will take the opportunity to listen to the public."

Ms Hall has stuck to her original decision, however, which means the streets will be known as Market Walk and the new buildings will be called Keynsham Civic Centre.

Resident Judi Grant, who spoke out against the name Market Walk at the scrutiny panel meeting at thend of July, said it was an "exercise of outright power against the wishes of Keynsham residents".

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