Creating a long term vision
Many dismiss the Midsomer Norton streetscape as a
hopeless mish-mash of styles that is beyond hope. So when a new development
is proposed the view is "well it doesn't fit in but what does
it matter - it's only Norton".
We think it does
Whilst our Society isn't trying to claim that Midsomer
Norton is a world heritage site, in the past 50 years it has suffered and
today is far less attractive than it once was. What happened? Bad planning
and lack of foresight and imagination created the streetscape we see today.
We want to turn this round and, with a combination of
redevelopment AND conservation over the next 20 years, cherish our
streetscape. And what we're suggesting is NOT about stopping development -
we welcome it. But let's focus the energy and creativity of developers
towards the eyesores and encourage them to use local materials and build on
a scale that fits in with what we've got.
So, if Midsomer Norton isn't a
lost cause, where do we start? Our view is that instead of
continually evaluating every planning proposal in isolation, we need to:
a comprehensive audit of the buildings
Establish by consulting Nortonians what's good and what's bad
a long term plan - redeveloping the eyesores and protecting the gems.
In the next
few months we will be creating a Streetscape Project Team - bringing
together landlords, developers, residents' groups, planning officials, B&NES
and the Town Council.
since our campaign against the development of a block of flats at 52 High
Street we've established links with developers to create a working
partnership to try and get the best for Midsomer Norton going forward.