Yeovil Town in rural Somerset is set for a total overhaul in 2021 taking the town centre from a depressed eyesore to the Counties most beautiful country town location
The market town of Yeovil in South Somerset is set to go under major transformation as works start in 2021.
Yeovil, just 20 miles from Taunton and just off the M5 motorway over the years has been one of Somerset’s delights.
The market town had a thriving town centre that thousands wished to visit as well as a vibrant night life, especially on market days, but in recent years has become the most depressing town in Somerset, with it’s closed shops and bars and restaurants, with even the local town’s citizens avoiding the centre of it’s town to dodge ‘ down and outs, drug addicts & alcoholics’
Although it seems the towns council have actually woken up to the fact their previous thought process has failed and now work will at long last start in 2021 although many residents of the area are still concerned they will get it correct this time.
The council of the town have come out saying today big plans for a large-scale redevelopment of Yeovil town centre will see the space “dominated by pedestrians rather than vehicles”
The ambitious work to transform the town centre into “a vibrant place to live, work, shop, learn and visit” is set to get underway in early 2021 – with a heavy emphasis on creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment although locals welcome change they are cautious of the council’s claims.
Whilst early stage plans a mock ups have been released, the towns residents remain cautious as the feel they have heard it all before too many times.
Local resident Richard Webber, who has lived in the area all his life, expressed his feelings to Global247news, he said:” Hey I’m not knocking this by a long chalk but we have heard all this before here, I’ve never been able to move due to my employment but the town over recent generations has gone from being a great place to live, to a place to avoid.
“We had great night clubs like the studios and Carnaby’s – we had a fantastic thriving town centre to be proud of, shopping was too a joy, but go to the town centre now and all you will find is charity shops and the streets littered with druggies and drunks, it may sound harsh but we have to face the facts” he went on to say.
” It’s all very well the council releasing images of what they are planning – but the reality is if they don’t fix the social issues then they can build what they wish, but it will only be ruined in quick time” he finished.
Meanwhile Josh Lane after studying the images of the proposed works said: ” It all looks superficial to me, few plant pots and walkways, very pretty but will it actually look like that, especially outside Spoons?
” Trouble is unless the shops are actually filled and people return to the town centre then I feel the undesirables will ruin it in no time anyway, let me give you an example, on of the finest restaurants in our town is ‘Texas Rocks’ but to walk to it you have to pass all sorts and it’s not pleasant passing drunks and drug takers on the beg with your children”
The Yeovil Refresh project will see the public spaces in the centre redeveloped by South Somerset District Council but as local builder David Parsons pointed out: ” To have beautiful public spaces will be wonderful but I don’t think it is the answer to the town centre regeneration, I feel the council aren’t think it through once again, online and out of town shopping has killed the centre and thats what needs to be addressed first, they messed up when they allowed the Quedam shopping centre, destroying history – it flopped and lies empty, they should have left the history, go shopping in York and see the difference” he said
” They kept their history and now are thriving from it – a town full of visitors and independent shops” he finished.
” Look at the eye sore of the former Beales” said Maggie Wilson, ” You can stick pretty trees and planting pots outside if you wish – it will not make any difference, personally I feel the council are ‘stuck in the mud’ and not thinking clearly once again” said Joan Hill from the town’s Lyde road area.
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