What are the plans for North Walsham town centre?

North Walsham town centre.

North Walsham town centre. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

A bid to rejuvenate North Walsham could see a raft of changes including a more pedestrian-friendly town centre.

Under the proposals, which are on display for the next fortnight in locations across the town, the Market Place would be open only to permit holders, blue badge holders and loading from 4pm to 10am.

Through traffic and short-stay parking places would be swept away, replaced with wider footpaths, seating and awnings, as well as four disabled parking bays.

Bus in North Walsham.

Plans to renew North Walsham town centre would see buses no longer using the Market Place. - Credit: Archant

Buses would also no longer drive through the Market Place, with the current bus stop relocated to Market Cross. 

Over the past few days, residents might have seen a range of markings appear on surfaces around the town centre.

These mystery symbols are part of utility detection surveys which a NNDC spokesperson said "form a vital part of the planning" for the various projects.

"This ensures that we get it right before we start – making sure we know where all the utilities are," the spokesperson said.

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The £3 million revamp would also see an enhanced pedestrian route at Black Loke, a new public garden at Black Swan Loke, pavements widened at Church Street, a new pedestrian gateway to the town through the church, and a new landscaped public space at The Shambles.

The proposals follow on from consultation carried out earlier this year on the regeneration of the town centre's Heritage Action Zone (HAZ).

According to the council, feedback suggested people are in favour of making the town centre more accessible and safe to a wide range of visitors.

North Walsham shops carry on under lockdown. Picture: Casey Cooper-Fiske

North Walsham' town centre. Picture: Casey Cooper-Fiske - Credit: Archant

Members of the public are being further consulted on these more detailed plans, with a series of surveys and events taking place in the town until October 15.

They include pop-up info sessions as well as printed collectable surveys and you can also respond online at www.haznorthwalsham.com

North Walsham town centre.

North Walsham town centre. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Together the technical surveys and the feedback from residents and businesses will inform the final design, the council has said.

North Walsham resident Ashley Culling, 54, said it "smacks of hypocrisy" that the council were asking for people's views on the proposals when they had already started work on the scheme.

He said he agreed with pedestrianisation but that it "should not be a 50/50 mix".