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Date published: 17th September 2021

Earlier in the summer businesses, customers and residents of North Walsham were invited to comment on ideas for improving the vitality and attractiveness of the town centre as part of the Council’s High Street Heritage Action Zone initiative.  

That input has informed the proposed designs for improving the public areas of the town centre, and feedback is again being invited from interested parties in order to help understand how these proposals might impact upon different sections of the community before changes to the town centre roads, footpaths and public spaces are agreed.

Previous feedback suggested many people who use the town centre are in favour of making it more safe and accessible to a wide range of visitors, whilst town centre businesses understandably wanted to increase custom. The proposals seek to create a distinctive and attractive town centre environment, that recognises the critical role played by the town’s many historic buildings.

Norfolk County Council, in partnership with the High Street Heritage Action Zone project, will be inviting residents and businesses in the High Street Heritage Action Zone to comment on the details of proposed road and pavement layouts. Alongside this, feedback will be gathered on the design proposals for the open spaces, passageways, viewpoints and gateways which may be enhanced, such as Black Swan Loke, Church Approach (by the Shambles), St Nicholas’ Churchyard and Bank Loke.

Feedback from town centre users is crucial to understanding how the proposals might affect a wide range of interests. People can share their thoughts and ideas, as well as get additional information in a variety of ways. There will be a public exhibition appearing at the following locations around the town in September and October and other public venues will have information leaflets.

Market Stall                      Sept 30th 10:00 - 14:00

Café Kitale                         Oct 7th 9:30 - 12:00

Paston College                  Oct 7th 12:30 - 14:00

North Walsham Library Oct 14th 11:00 - 13:00

Sainsbury’s                        Oct 14th 14:30-18:00

Come along to the exhibition to meet the project team, hear more about the proposals and have your questions answered.

This consultation will take place over a one month period and feedback can be given in writing or via the "Hi North Walsham" website, where you can interact with other town users, discuss ideas and find out more about the project.

In addition, special focussed discussion sessions will be arranged with specific groups, including business owners and people with accessibility needs.

Cllr Richard Kershaw, NNDC’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Growth, commented: “The High Street Heritage Action Zone approach has been inclusive right from inception and has taken the views of residents, business owners and town centre visitors into account throughout.  Please do get involved in influencing this exciting next chapter of the town’s history.”

Shona Hatton, (Associate Director at Influence, the team leading the design work) added: “The concepts for the public realm at North Walsham have been designed to tell a story - Each story is a part of North Walsham. This is the public’s chance to be involved and to have their say on this transformative project before decisions are made on the final designs and works to be undertaken. We would like to hear from anyone who lives, work or visits the town as it’s about improving everyone’s experience of North Walsham.”

Cllr Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting North Norfolk District Council in their ambitious project and are keen to hear people’s views on the proposals that have been developed for this part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme.”

The proposals to enhance and improve the town centre are just one of a range of ways in which the District Council and its partners are aiming to make the town a vibrant place to live, work and visit. The programme of improvements also includes the refurbishment of The Cedars (the former Council offices building) and Building Repair grants to encourage the improvement of town centre properties. Alongside this research is taking place into the town’s fascinating history and a programme of cultural events is being planned.

The scheme is jointly funded by North Norfolk District Council, Historic England and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

Last updated: 17th September 2021