On 26 June 2008, Full Council adopted the Royston Town Centre Strategy Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The aim of the strategy is to provide a comprehensive framework to promote integrated development and enhancement of the Royston town centre over a 15 year period.
This SPD expands and provides further guidance on policy 42 part (i) in the current adopted District Local Plan No. 2 with Alterations, which is a ‘saved plan’ under the new legislation, until such time as this policy is replaced by new policies. Policy 42 seeks to support and maintain shopping as the main activity in town centres. The SPD, is supported by a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
In order to ensure that the Royston Town Centre Strategy provided the right vision and guidelines for the town centre in the future, the Council and its consultants, BDP, involved and worked together with local businesses, organisations, schools, residents and key landowners. The strategy comprises:
- a vision and aims for the town centre,
- a series of objectives whereby progress can be monitored, and
- a planning strategy for the centre including opportunity sites.
The strategy sets down, in terms of broad principles and examples of how these can be met, the approach towards conservation management and urban design in the centre, as well as broad proposals for improving the public realm, and managing and improving transport.
It is not a fixed blueprint but a guide to action, part of a continuing process of town centre and conservation area management.
An Action Plan has also been prepared which supports the Royston Town Centre Strategy. It sets out short, medium and long term actions and outputs to deliver the aims and policy guidance of the Town Centre Strategy as well as the proposed Opportunity Sites identified for development. The short term actions include:
- Preparation of a planning Brief for Royston Cross
- Enhancement of Fish Hill Square
- Preparation of a Planning Brief for the civic centre site
The Council will continue to work in partnership with key landowners and relevant organisations, including the Royston Town Council, the Royston Town Centre Forum and Hertfordshire County Council in progressing the Strategy.
A Car Parking Strategy for Royston
Whilst preparing the Royston Town Centre Strategy the Council appointed consultants, MVA, to prepare a Car Parking Strategy for Royston which formed a background paper to the Strategy. The Car Parking Strategy was agreed by the Royston Committee and the Cabinet at their meetings in June 2008. A copy of the Car Parking Strategy can be viewed below.