‘New renaissance’ unveiled for Kingswood town centre

Residents and businesses are being asked for their comments about a masterplan for Kingswood town centre that has been published by South Gloucestershire Council

The east part of Regent Street would be pedestrianised and there is a proposed northern outbound route for traffic and a southern inbound route, as shown on the map.

Four distinct zones are outlined – a Mixed Commercial Quarter, Live/Work Urban Lifestyles Quarter, a Civic Quarter and the Historic & Cultural Heart.

The council plans to increase bus priority in the town centre and improve facilities for people waiting at stops.

People engaged in large numbers to consultations last year which helped the council secure £25m of public investment.  Now the authority has refined ideas with the masterplan and there is a public consultation which runs until 10th October.

A lot is going on in Kingswood already, with improvements to the Whitfield Tabernacle under way and a new park proposed in the grounds, and the council recently purchased Kings Chase Shopping Centre.

There is also an initiative to enhance Kingswood Park and the council says there is also significant potential to invest in other green areas including Southey Park.

Regent Street

Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment & Strategic Infrastructure, Steve Reade, said Kingswood had a rich history and enviable local cultural assets, but even prior to the pandemic, it faced challenges in common with town centres and high streets across the country: “This masterplan, and the input to it that we hope to get from the local community, will help set the area on course to build on its former glory and herald a new renaissance.”

You can meet the project staff at the temporary Kingswood Community Hub in Kings Chase Shopping Centre which will be open for three days each week. To find out more head to https://consultations.southglos.gov.uk/KingswoodMasterplan

The four zones outlined in the masterplan

Mixed Commercial Quarter: The council says there is a significant opportunity to invest in Kings Chase Shopping Centre and the wider site. This could include more retail, leisure (including a cinema as the image suggests) and business space, whilst also “exploring the potential for residential”.

This quarter includes Halls Road and the old Store 21 (earmarked for business/community/housing), as well as South Road and Boultons Lane car parks although more assessment is required for both.

Historic and Cultural Heart: The aim is to strengthen the historic identity by repairing and reusing many of the buildings in and around Regent Street.

Significant progress has already been made on the old Masters Church (for housing) and to repair the derelict Grade I listed Whitfield Tabernacle in Park Road. There are plans to stage events at the tabernacle once it has been repaired. Regent Street (East) would be pedestrianised.

Civic Quarter: There are plans to restore a small number of vacant and underused sites to improve the approach into the town centre from the east with a comprehensive mix of sustainable homes with easy access to community facilities, Kingswood Park, and local schools.

The Lucas factory site

Sites include the former library for community/business use, the old Linden Hotel for business/housing, and the caravan and car sales sites for housing.

Live/Work Urban Lifestyles Quarter: This area to the south of the retail core gives an opportunity to retain spaces for business and develop a more urban and integrated design approach to housing, says the council, with the existing scale of buildings such as the former Lucas factory illustrating the potential for development rising to five or six storeys.

Other sites in this quarter include the old bus depot, the Post Office depot and the car sales site on Hanham Road.

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