Hart Council has launched a Fleet Civic Quarter Regeneration Consultation. The survey runs from Monday 23 May to Monday 4 July. They have created a specific page on their website giving more details. It can be found here.
There is a leaflet giving more details about what they are trying to achieve that can be found here. The Council is encouraging residents to read the leaflet before answering the questionnaire that can be found here.
We set out below some more details of the consultation followed by our view.
Fleet Civic Quarter Regeneration Consultation Details
The questionnaire asks respondents say how important 8 aspects of regeneration are:
- A dynamic, active town square all year round
- A better connected town centre
- Enhancing the cultural scene in Hart
- Encouraging increased footfall to support the high street
- An Inclusive space for all generations
- Creating places to meet, socialise and celebrate
- Prioritising sustainable, healthy design
- Upgraded, modernised community facilities
Residents are then asked to choose their top-3 uses to which the Civic Quarter space can be put. The fourth question is a bit fiddly. It asks respondents to rank the relative importance of 10 “critical success factors”. The final two questions are freeform and ask people to set out their hopes and concerns about regeneration of the area.
It is good to see some progress finally happening on this project which was given the go ahead nearly 3 years ago in August 2019. However, the focus is very strongly on the Council owned assets including Hart’s offices, The Harlington and Gurkha Square.
We think the Council should think bigger and consider the whole of the area outlined in the map above, together with the Hart Shopping Centre and the area surrounding Church Road car park for a more comprehensive revitalisation on the whole town. However, we have to start somewhere, so we think this project should be encouraged.
Given the recent controversy surrounding the proposed Gurkha Square redevelopment and other matters, we think they should set some principles for the redevelopment to allay people’s concerns. Examples would include:
- Promise to not develop Gurkha Square itself – focus on keeping the square for the market, public performances and outdoor restaurant seating
- Promise to retain the Views and enhance it as a public open space
- Ensure that a healthcare centre (GP Surgery or Drop-In centre) is included as part of the development
- Consider providing a gym and even potentially a primary school and/or nursery
- Constrain any development to a maximum of 5 storeys
- Utilise the work of groups like Create Streets, to ensure that the built environment is of human scale, the proportions are sensible, adequate green space is provided and the buildings are beautiful.
- [Update from a user comment] Introduce free parking to encourage more visitors to the town centre and support businesses [/Update]
We encourage readers to have their say and complete the questionnaire using the links above.