Decrepit Yeovil Town Centre could finally see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Tens of thousands more homes will be built under plans to regenerate inner-city brownfield sites, Michael Gove has said.

Next week, the Housing Secretary will detail measures allowing developers to convert empty office blocks, department stores and commercial buildings through streamlined planning processes.

The Government will seek to change the law so properties can be brought back into use more quickly to speed up housebuilding in town centres and offer incentives for developers to build there and convert former retail stores into residential properties.

Yeovil Town centre is decrepit and often described as a cesspit of the market town in Somerset.

Rows and rows of boarded-up shops could now potentially be turned into apartments and houses under the new measures announced by Michael Gove.

Whilst the local Lib Dem council have spent millions of pounds, something the near-bankrupt council couldn’t afford, as they have attempted to attract retail operations in the town centre, now it all seems it could change under the new Government plans.

Yeovil Town Centre Resembling Beirut

To many advocates of Yeovil Town, it’s the only future and way to go for the town centre.

Paul Mohamed, lawyer and CEO of property agents The Move Group, which has recently started operating in the area, offers huge discounted rates to the town residents who wish to sell property under the umbrella of Move Yeovil, says he’s delighted with the announcement.

Mohamed told Global247news:

Lawyer And Real Estate Expert Of The Move Group, Paul Mohamed

‘ It makes perfect common sense and has been apparent for several years. Finally, it sounds as if the governing bodies have woken up.

‘ We have to face the facts: generally speaking, town centre retail is dead in the water, and local councils continue to try to swim against the tide.

‘Yeovil, around the outside, is a delightful region to live in, but entering the town centre is like entering a different world. You may as well be in Beirut.

‘It’s not just Yeovil, though; the oblivion of town centres around the UK is plentiful, although Yeovil has to be one of the worst; it’s a total blight on what overall is a lovely town.

‘As a business, one of our aspects is attracting public members to the town, although if they are moving from outside the area, it’s a tedious task. When they visit the town centre, they often change their mind and select Dorchester or elsewhere instead.

‘This announcement has been on the cards for a while, but as it’s an election year, I imagine it suites the Conservivate government, although it’s the only way for Yeovil Town.

Empty Glovers Walk Yeovil

‘Property prices would rise considerably for those who already own property; imagine a town centre with hospitality venues in plentiful numbers surrounded by residential housing and luxurious apartments. Among a few boutique shops, wine bars, restaurants, and public houses are Yeovil’s future, not empty shops that retailers don’t require.

‘You should never go backwards but forwards; I give you a fine example of a development in Cardiff known as the Brewery Quarter, bang in the city centre with all the attractions on the site of the old Brains brewery,  we have so much interest in that development and sales are always fast – Yeovil could be the same if the council have an open mind about things’ he finished.

Cardiff’s Brewery Quarter – How Could the Likes of Glovers Walk Look?

Meanwhile, the residents of Yeovil seem to agree this morning, William Walters told Global247news;

‘ We can only hope; I live just a ten-minute walk from the town centre, although I haven’t entered the town for a long while; if I want something, I go outside of Yeovil. The council here have wasted a large fortune on the ‘Yeovil Refresh’ programme; what was the point of spending millions of pounds on new pavements and a few plant pots to house empty shops?

‘This now could hopefully be the light at the end of the tunnel for our town centre’, he finished.

The Council locally have attempted to bring business to the town, even purchasing stores in the town, although even some of those remain empty; they even have tried to move the local non-league football club back into the town in an attempt to boost business, earmarking the disused cattle market although that fell through when a deal couldn’t be agreed between Simul Sports Ltd and the then owner Scott Priestnall, ending up purchasing the current stadium and surrounding land for 2.8 million on the outskirts of town. Thus providing the then-owner Priestnall a windfall.

It’s now understood what the council felt were investments, such as the building Marks and Spencers and the former Wilkos, due to being on the verge of bankruptcy, will have to sell, whilst the football club has a couple of years left on an agreement to buy back it’s stadium and surrounding land. Currently, the significant rent of the stadium to the football club returns 6% annually to the public purse, whilst if the club do not take up the buy-back offer, the council can take control of the site, it’s understood.