A vision of Berwick as a thriving, attractive market town is outlined

A vision of how Berwick will be in the year 2032 has been written to help guide development in the town.

Saturday, 8th October 2016, 7:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:38 pm
An aerial view of Berwick by Ollie Cowgill, of Sky Vantage Productions.

It forms part of the Berwick Neighbourhood Plan, a new document that will feed into the Northumberland County Council planning process.

Analysis of residents’ views from the first round of consultation has been completed, and the report accepted by Berwick Town Council.

The main issues raised were: Housing; highways and transport; regeneration; employment; reuse of brownfield/vacant sites; provision of event space; tourism; conservation and historic environment; environment; design; and community infrastructure.

The steering group has used the public feedback to produce a draft vision statement, on which residents are asked to comment.

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Cllr Eric Goodyer, steering group chairman, said: “Whilst we believe that we have captured all of the main points raised, it would be helpful to identify which of the issues raised are the most important.

“We now invite all residents, businesses and other stake-holders to submit their comments on these ideas, and offer opinions to each of the working groups.”

Berwick, Spittal & Tweedmouth 2032 vision

A border town bridging England and Scotland benefiting from a plethora of historic attractions, river/waterfront activities and the surrounding natural environment which provide a playground for outdoor adventure, history buffs, walkers, cyclists and naturalists.

A wonderful and unique place: A historic walled town, riverside and coastal neighbourhood all in one. It is a place thronged with people accessing the museums, theatre, festivals, cliff-top paths, seaside parades and beautiful countryside with something happening almost every night of the week.

Historic medieval streets are conserved and complemented elsewhere with sympathetic high-quality new developments and enhanced well-used public spaces. The magnificent Hawksmoor Barracks is now a Heritage Centre and museum. The town centre is pedestrian-friendly, and a thriving Quayside has been developed.

Well-planned growth means that the town can sustain new services for families. Students have really invigorated the town and a thriving college campus is centrally located, offering excellent education facilities, both academic and vocational. Our young people no longer have to leave to find a worthwhile opportunity, and skills and wages are rising.

There is a healthy balanced mix of businesses with a host of smaller companies covering a wide range of sectors and activities providing permanent year-round employment. Retail parks and business centres have been encouraged to locate on well-connected sites on the outskirts.

Our quality of life

Housing provision will be of a variety of size, tenure and price, suitable to meet the needs and aspirations of all families and households.

This will be delivered by new build, the use of space above high street shops, sympathetic infill and the conversion of unused commercial space for residential use; and by the increased supply of well-paid full-time and part-time employment for people of all ages and abilities, a thriving all-year-round tourism and service sector, and a town buzzing with students attending our further and higher education facilities; and by establishing Berwick as the first choice for inward investment within the region.

Vibrant town centres

The town and community centres of Berwick, Spittal and Tweedmouth will offer a mix of commercial, cultural, leisure and recreational facilities, accessible to residents and visitors. It will be the Gateway to the Borders, Scotland and the North East, supporting developments that exploit our strategic location and transport infrastructure as the premier access point to a hinterland stretching for up to 50 miles, on both sides of the border.

New buildings and spaces between/around buildings will be of high-quality design throughout the plan area, both within individual developments, and in their context of the wider townscape including future proposals and aspirations

Our heritage

Our existing heritage assets will be recognised, protected and enhanced, throughout the whole of the plan area, for the benefit of residents and visitors. Berwick, Spittal and Tweedmouth will be the foremost tourist destinations in northern England, of regional and international significance.

Getting about

New design measures will promote sustainable transport such as walking, cycling and buses, effectively and efficiently connecting people to the social, economic, educational, recreational and cultural facilities which they require on a day-to-day basis.

Our strategic location and transport infrastructure will be be used to build the town’s economy.

Our town: River and coast

To realise the leisure, recreational and cultural potential of the River Tweed, its estuary and adjoining coastline, acknowledging the importance of its biodiversity and coastal landscape significance. Our environment will be protected both within the plan area and beyond the immediate boundaries. Sensitive development will recognise the wealth and diversity of our natural environment as a primary driver of leisure and tourism in the area, and as fundamental to the quality of life of the local community.

Our future

Our communities will be a place for life-long learning, where high quality vocational skills and training are valued and available.

Infrastructure will provide further education opportunities to learn skills and gain qualifications locally, to enable our young people to stay, develop and thrive in the area beyond their secondary education.

We will provide suitable housing, physical and mental health services, and other public services to support the skill, optimism and enthusiasm of young people.

The plan will support delivery of a range of recreational and leisure facilities for young people and promote further investment.

l You can submit comments by the following: Visit www.berwickplan.co.uk email consult@berwick-tc.gov.uk or write to Berwick-upon-Tweed Town Council, 5 The Chandlery, Quayside, Berwick, TD15 1HE.