Hucknall masterplan to 'breathe new life' into town centre set for green light

Cabinet members on Ashfield District Council will decide next week on whether to adopt and forge ahead with an improvement masterplan for Hucknall town centre.

Hucknall town centre is the focus of the plans
Hucknall town centre is the focus of the plans

The 38-page document will come before the Ashfield Independent administration on Tuesday (July 19) setting out the authority’s plan to bring more people into the popular town and improve its “vibrant” nightlife.

A public consultation was held between April and May this year where residents were able to give their thoughts on the plans before the Cabinet gives it the final approval this month.

The initial paper, published in the autumn of last year, outlined plans to “breathe new life” into Hucknall by bringing derelict or disused town centre buildings back to life.

It also included measures to further develop the town’s popular night-time economy as well as moving away from shutters on high-street stores to open up shop fronts.

A transport hub, placed at the centre of the authority’s £20m bid for the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, is also proposed near the railway station to bring more people into town and make Hucknall more accessible.

And the council has outlined other measures including creating murals, street art and living walls to make the town more vibrant.

The meeting next week will see slightly amended proposals from the initial document following the earlier consultation, which gathered 43 responses from local residents and organisations.

Improvements included increased accessibility around the town, more signposting to out-of-town facilities, the potential for a ‘heritage trail’ around the town and further green and environmental measures.

Councillor Matt Relf (Ash Ind), portfolio holder for regeneration and corporate transformation, will bring the paper before cabinet members and says suggestions from the consultation have been incorporated into the amended plan.

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Hucknall to have 'new life breathed into it' under Ashfield District Council's t...

He adds that, if approved, the document will be used as a “flexible guide” to shape the future of Hucknall but will not be an “instruction manual”.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The Hucknall town centre masterplan is an ambitious plan for the future of Hucknall which represents the council’s vision of creating a vibrant, thriving town centre.

“Following the public consultation in May we have taken residents’ feedback on board. As a result of this, we will be changing several lines in the masterplan to ensure we take their comments on board.

“This includes exploring more opportunities to increase the biodiversity and accessibility of the town centre and to emphasise Hucknall’s rich heritage.

“It is fantastic to hear that the majority of residents who responded to the consultation, were in support of the masterplan as a whole.

“The purpose of the masterplan is to set out the council’s vision for the future of Hucknall town centre, as a flexible guide, not an instruction manual.”