Thursday, 13 March 2008

Vulcan Road - what you think about council plans

WEST Somerset Council has received a Statement of Community Engagement report from Consensus, the independent consultancy company appointed to consult with local people on the future of Minehead's Vulcan Road Car Park.
Consensus met with interested parties including the Minehead Chamber of Commerce, local pressure group DIRECT and students from West Somerset Community College.
There was also a three-day public display and consultation in The Avenue, one of Minehead's busiest thoroughfares, where local residents and groups such as Minehead Conservation Society had their chance to state their preferences on the car park's future.
The six options put forward included a range of uses and all included affordable housing, an hotel and parking for coaches, with the exception of Option 6. Nearly 400 people responded to the survey and the overall indications are:
OPTION 1. Mixed retail and industrial units 4.8%
OPTION 2. ASDA 15.6%
OPTION 3. Open A1 retail 8.8%
OPTION 4. Sainsbury 24.1%
OPTION 5. Tesco 7.3%
*OPTION 6. None of the above, but… 34.1%
Multiple Choice. (More than 1 option selected). 5.3%
*However, the report gives a health warning relating to the outcome of Option 6.
It states that people should note that the response to Option 6 is not a simple 'no' vote.
Instead, Option 6 aimed to provide respondents with the chance to reply to the question - if none of the above, what would they like to see on Vulcan Road?
The responses to Option 6 showed that some people wanted a 'hybrid' of one or more of the options, while others did not object to developing the site in principle but would like it to be used for a different purpose.
Very few respondents voted in favour of keeping Vulcan Road in its present form.
The aim of the report was to provide West Somerset Council with a qualitative insight into local people's concerns and aspirations for Vulcan Road.
The report also states that there is scope for a further 'hybrid' option, which may involve a combination of aspects of the current proposals and the exclusion of other aspects.
The council's acting head of paid services, Adrian Dyer, said: "The report is a useful insight into how the community would like to see the site developed.
"It also gives us a wider view of topics and issues that influence and impact on the community, and it may help us not only in this decision-making process, but may also help inform future choices in Minehead.
"The report has been sent to members and will be considered by cabinet on April 2.
"Full council will then debate any recommendations arising on April 16 at a venue to be confirmed."
The report is easily available on the 'popular pages' section on the front page of West Somerset Council's website at

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