Garden Town: your questions answered 4 July 2017

As one of the nation’s new Garden Towns, Taunton is blazing a trail in the South West – and now local people are being given the chance find out more and shape the place where they live.

A dedicated Garden Town exhibition is taking place in Taunton town centre between 10 July 2017 and 15 July 2017 to provide residents with more information about what a Garden Town is and offering them the chance to ask questions and comment.

Taunton is the only Garden Town in the South West, after being awarded the distinction in the New Year by the Government.

It means that future development will benefit from being closely linked to the environment through green corridors giving direct access to the countryside, improved transport, cycle and pedestrian links, more green spaces and links to the riverside.

“While many other towns in the South West are growing rapidly to meet the needs of a growing population, Taunton has the fantastic advantage of being a Garden Town,” said Councillor Roger Habgood, Executive Councillor for planning and transport.

“It gives us a once in a lifetime chance to make sure our growth is properly planned and managed to make it sustainable with the environment at the heart of what we do.”

Regenerating Taunton town centre is a key part of the success of being a Garden Town.  Plans for Coal Orchard, putting the river back as its focus, have recently been approved, proposals for Firepool are progressing while ambitions to create a thriving regional arts centre at The Brewhouse Theatre have just been unveiled.

A major upgrade of Taunton railway Station is due within the next two years, improvements to the A358 and Junction 25 of the M5 are proposed to improve traffic flow.  A trial public space improvement project in Taunton town centre is also likely to get under way in the New Year.

A new University Centre is being established at the Somerset College campus in Taunton and a new school is open at Monkton Heathfield.

“Garden Town status helps link all the threads together to create a confident, ambitious and economically successful regional centre here in Taunton,” said Councillor Habgood.

“I hope people will take the time to visit the exhibition and learn more. We are at the start of our journey as a Garden Town and community involvement is an important part of our approach.  This exhibition is an opportunity for people to find out more, ask questions and give comments.  We really want feedback that will help us make a place where people want to live, work and simply enjoy.”

Exhibition times and venues:

Monday 10 July 2017: 12 noon to 4:00 pm Market House (Taunton Visitor Centre - TVC)
Tuesday 11 July 2017: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm Market House (TVC)
Wednesday 12 July 2017: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm Market House (TVC)
Thursday 13 July 2017: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm Market House (TVC)
Friday 14 July 2017: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm Orchard Centre, Taunton
Saturday 15 July 2017: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Orchard Centre, Taunton