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  • Writer's pictureRomsey Future

Romsey Future to hold a second Citizens' Assembly

Between 2018-2020 extensive consultation and public outreach was undertaken to inform the South of Romsey Town Centre Masterplan.  This included over 15 public events to promote the consultation and the distribution of more than 2,000 postcards to the Romsey community, including residents and businesses.  The Masterplan consultant team also ran ‘Walk and Talk Tours’ of the Masterplan area and held workshops with local schools.  At each event, the consultation boards were displayed, allowing attendees to read each board, understand the background, review the proposals, and complete a questionnaire (in hard copy there or later on-line). A dedicated webpage was also created on the Romsey Future website providing background information about the masterplan project, a copy of the consultation boards and a link to the online survey.


In addition, a Citizens’ Assembly was held in 2019 which considered the question of how the area around the bus station and Crosfield Hall could be improved to deliver maximum benefit to Romsey. 


The outcome of the Citizens’ Assembly was a series of recommendations to the Council that fed into the development of the masterplan.  It recommended that Romsey’s infrastructure be accessible, that the town be vibrant and full of things that are affordable for all, that the green spaces be enhanced and protected, a community hub created that brings people together across generations and that transport be improved.  There was no recommendation from the Citizens’ Assembly that the Crosfield Hall be demolished.


The main elements of the masterplan are:-


1). Public realm improvements to the urban environment, particularly around Broadwater Road and enhancing the area around Holbrook Stream.

2). The regeneration of the bus station site to provide a new mixed-use development, including a community hub.

3). The regeneration of the Crosfield Hall site.


In terms of delivery, the first phase of the Masterplan focusses on the redevelopment of the bus station and the Broadwater Road car park to create a new mixed-use development for Romsey town. This will provide homes, shops and community space alongside bus/coach stops and improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians. Linked to the delivery of this aspiration in the Masterplan is the need to understand how best to meet current and future demand for car parking in the town and changes to retail patterns post-COVID19.  Further research on this is being undertaken.


The Masterplan sets out the options for the future of the Crosfield Hall site for either parking, retail or residential on the basis that alternative community facility provision could be provided.  At this stage, no decision has been made on the relocation of the Crosfield Hall.  This element of the plan can only happen when a decision is made on how best to meet the future needs for community facilities for the town and wider area. This piece of work is ongoing and will include extensive engagement with different groups, including existing users of Crosfield Hall, before the summer.


To help understand the best approach for the town a further Citizens’ Assembly, comprising different people to those who took part in the 2019 assembly, will be held in June and July this year. This will help in the understanding of the different views and ideas that will inform the provision of future community facilities and how best these can be accommodated.  Like the previous Citizen’s Assembly, those who take part will be randomly selected by an independent body to ensure that the assembly is representative of the whole of the Romsey population.


The Citizens’ Assembly will be given the time and opportunity to learn about and discuss what the need is for community facility provision in Romsey and the wider area.  Through this process, they will hear balanced evidence on the issue, including the outcome of the discussions with different groups, before discussing what they have heard with one another and deciding what they think.  The process will be independently facilitated. The conclusions of the assembly will be written up as a report that will be presented to decision-makers to inform the next steps in deciding upon community facility provision in Romsey town. 


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