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Report reveals Darlington town centre wishlist
GREEN spaces, improved bus facilities and more leisure opportunities have been identified as some of the key things people would like to see in Darlington town centre.
An initial wishlist for any potential development of Darlington has been revealed by Darlington Borough Council as part of a wide-ranging consultation into the future direction of the town.
An approach to the council from an anonymous developer, who expressed an interest in creating a food retail site on the Garden Street car park, combined with a growing need invest in the aging town hall, led to the consultation process earlier this summer, which officers hoped would stimulate a wider conversation about the future of the town centre.
After a slow start to consultation sessions, members of the public eventually turned out in strong numbers to give their views and raise concerns about future changes to the town centre.
In a report prepared for the place scrutiny committee at the council, officers have outlined some of the key themes that have been brought up by residents.
They include: - the need for green space close to and within the town centre; - a desire for more leisure in the town centre; - the importance of cherishing Darlington’s historic character; - the importance of the markets and Covered Market building, and - the need to improve the current bus facilities.
Consultation will continue next month, with a number of sessions planned to canvass the ideas of students at schools and colleges around the town.
A developers’ workshop will also take place at the end of September where the consultation responses, combined with the council’s own ideas and development policies, will be tried and tested to see if they are feasible.
The report, which will be discussed by the scrutiny committee tomorrow, noted: “The themes identified will be used to develop some core principles that will guide the future development of the town centre and adjoining sites, subject to further consultation.
“The core principles and land uses that come out of the public consultation process will be tested with the development industry to ensure realism and deliverability.”