Backing for £34m redevelopment
A £34 million redevelopment scheme for Keynsham has been recommended for approval.
A planning application for the Town Hall regeneration project funded by Bath and North East Somerset Council was due before its own councillors late yesterday.
Planning officers have recommended that councillors approve the scheme which includes new offices for the authority, shops and restaurants, a new library and a one-stop shop for local public sector services, as well as a plaza for markets and events.
Keynsham Business Association chair Lynn Young said: "Keynsham is in desperate need of the redevelopment and we're keen that the project moves forward quickly. We're pleased that the redevelopment will bring new shops and businesses to Keynsham, complementing the existing offer.
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"By creating new public spaces, we will have the opportunity for more markets and events, encouraging more people to shop and enjoy Keynsham town centre. Let's get moving fast on the project."
Councillor David Bellotti (Lib Dem, Lyncombe), B&NES cabinet member for community resources, said, "The regeneration of the town centre is gathering momentum with the submission of the planning application and we are working to sustain this with other aspects of regeneration in Keynsham.
"This high quality and environmentally sustainable development will be the catalyst for wider improvements in the town. There is a high level of community support for this regeneration that will breathe new, vibrant life into Keynsham.
"A more attractive and pleasant town centre will help attract private sector investment to the town and create new opportunities and jobs for local people."
The council says it is also moving forward with ideas for the redevelopment of the Riverside building, which currently houses its offices in the town, and which is likely to be demolished and replaced by housing.
Meanwhile, new homes and business areas will also be created at the former Somerdale chocolate factory to the north of the town.