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Last time I wrote of gloomy and unseasonably cold weather and now I cannot fail to comment on the glorious sunny days experienced recently.
Whilst not a barometer for the Task Force activity it is fair to say that things have been hotting-up on the project front too.
The comprehensive scheme for the long neglected Albion Street block was supported by planning committee on 18/07/13. A difficult scheme, as evidenced by the long term decay, with a myriad of complex arguments which were well rehearsed by the planning team and committee.
Work continues with County colleagues on the wide ranging public consultation for proposed changes linked to the Cheltenham Transport Plan. This consultation runs until 1st September 2013 so still time to comment.
The Cheltenham Spa railway station proposal passed a further milestone with support from the Gloucestershire Local Transport Body on 17/07/13, although further analysis is anticipated.
Work continues on the Promenade phase 3 – and is over 50% complete. This in turn has resulted in discussions over the long term location for the Farmers Market which has been temporarily relocated to the pedestrianised Promenade to the North.

Graham Garbutt – Independent chair

A bid was submitted to the Gloucestershire Local Transport Body and we understand is prioritised at 4th position in the range of 14 bids submitted across the County. This list of 14 will be forwarded to the Department for Transport for their consideration subject to some additional economic analysis being undertaken by the Local Enterprise Partnership.

This proposal would bring major benefit to Cheltenham and the County as a whole by reducing delays on the network, opening up opportunities for new services, improving connectivity at Cheltenham Spa (better links to bus, cycle and pedestrian access), and improved on-site station facilities.
Gloucestershire County Council began a formal consultation process on 1st July which runs until 1st September 2013.

In addition to leaflets being delivered directly to 16,000 homes, and extensive media coverage (Echo and BBC), there have been a series of exhibitions at venues across the town (eg St Lukes, St Pauls, Regent Arcade, Brewery, Charlton Kings, Hesters Way). In addition further events were arranged to respond to requests from specific groups.

These included – Cheltenham in Focus, Borough & County Councillors, disability groups, Five Parishes group and the Boys & Ladies’ colleges. Some such as the disability group have progressed to become advisory work groups in their own right and will focus specifically on any changes to Boots Corner.

We are grateful as ever for support from local shopping and community centres for use of venues.

The aim is to encourage as large a response to the consultation proposals as possible.

In pursuit of this it is planned to hold further events before the close of the consultation period and these are scheduled for

Wednesday 14th August 11.00-15.00
The Promenade (outside Waterstones)

Saturday 17th August 11.00-15.00
Regent Arcade

Details can be found at
Will Windsor-CliveWill Windsor-Clive
County Councillor

Will has been a Cabinet Member of Gloucestershire County Council for the last six years and his present Portfolio is Fire, Infrastructure and Planning. Will spent 8 years on the Forest of Dean District Council and was elected to the County Council in 2001 and has represented Gloucestershire for the last 12 years on the Council in various roles.

Will is a Gloucestershire farmer who has diversified his farm taking advantage of a Motorway Junction enabling local employment, and is proud of the amount of activity going on with about 80 people working there at the moment. Will looks forward to working with the board to help improve Cheltenham for the future.
A quick round-up of some of the latest news stories

Echo – 3 May
Public back Cheltenham Odeon plan, developers claim

Echo – 11 May
Minster upgrade could create ‘gem’ in Cheltenham town centre

Echo – 14 June
The disabled asked for views on changes to Cheltenham’s one-way system

Echo – 21 June
Thousands of leaflets set to drop asking for views on Boots corner traffic shake up

Echo – 1 July 2013
Disability groups have their say on pedestrianisation of Boots corner

Works continue on the Promenade phase 3 and should be completed very soon.The temporary relocation of the regular farmers market to the existing pedestrianized area to the North has resulted in a debate over whether it should relocate to this new spot on a longer term basis; this is currently being explored – although in any event will have to be displaced to its traditional place for a period to enable the upgrade works on the existing pedestrianized zone.

This next phase of works envisages improving the tree pits, street furniture and refurbishing the 10 (yes, there are 10) phone boxes mainly for alternative uses such as art installations but equally as a home for power and water supplies so as to avoid the need for standalone generators at the Christmas Market.
With support from the planning committee on 18/07/13 it will now be possible to deliver a welcome change to this long neglected part of town.
The comprehensive scheme for the 3 sites (former Haines & Strange garage, former cinema and existing 1960’s retail units) will deliver 95 new homes and 12 new shops, with 6 shops, 6 houses and 8 apartments on the former cinema and 6 shops, 33 houses and 48 apartments on the emainder of the site.

The first phase will be the demolition of the existing structures which is anticipated later this year.
On 24th August there will be a community consultation event at St. Mary’s churchyard where plans for a major upgrade to the churchyard and environs will be unveiled.

These proposals aim to improve the space which has been neglected for too long and help reconnect the High Street, Clarence street and Boots Corner with the Minster and extended Art Gallery & Museum.

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