Major redevelopment plan unveiled for Weston-super-Mare Railway Station
PUBLISHED: 12:30 06 October 2016
Weston Railway Station could be home to a multi-storey car park and new shops in the future as North Somerset Council's town centre regeneration programme rolls on - but not everyone in the town is happy about the development proposals.
The council has confirmed it is working with the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Network Rail and Great Western Railway (GWR) to redevelop the station and the nearby areas.
The proposals are likely to include a mix of new homes, improvements to the station, possible shops and a replacement car park.
The Mercury understands the proposed car park is likely to be a multi-storey.
The council’s director of development and environment, David Carter, also told Weston Town Council at a meeting on September 26 there would be no reduction in the number of town centre car parking spaces across the next five years, despite Locking Road car park being sold for housing.
A council spokesman said: “We are working with the HCA, Network Rail and GWR to improve the station and to consider proposals for development on the surrounding sites.
“This will predominantly be new homes but at the station itself could include some commercial and retail.
“There will need to be a replacement car park, likely in the form of a multi-storey, but we don’t have any confirmed details about cost and size yet.”
Central ward councillor Richard Nightingale welcomed the proposal, but also said it was important to find a balance between providing parking opportunities for visitors and people living in the town.
Cllr Nightingale said: “Parking meters which have worked really well for retailers are causing residents a good deal of inconvenience.
“We certainly do need to find a better balance for town centre residents and try and offer them at least an opportunity of parking outside their own property, day and night.
“I welcome any additional parking and the possibility of nearly 300 multi-storey spaces is bound to relieve some pressure, but it is not the only answer to address this very difficult problem.”
However, an event organised by the Heart of Weston forum at the end of September revealed some people living in Weston are concerned about the possible effects of the regeneration programme – which also includes housing at the former magistrates’ court and police station in Walliscote Grove Road, and Dolphin Square.
Central ward councillor Mike Bell said: “The council needs to do a lot more to reach out to people living and working in Weston town centre to ensure they buy into the vision.
“It was clear from the Heart of Weston event that people are worried and uncertain about some of the ideas and want a say.
“In particular, there are big gaps in the provision that the council is simply not talking about which residents want addressed, including jobs, health care services and a campus-style community hub for the town centre.”