Andover town centre masterplan
Timeline: Updates and News releases
Please be aware that all future updates will be published at www.thinkandovertowncentre.co.uk
Update May 2020
Andover town centre redevelopment proposals receive positive response
Despite the strange and unprecedented times that we find ourselves in, Test Valley Borough Council and appointed masterplanners, Hemingway Design and NEW masterplanning, are continuing to progress with the development of the final masterplan for Andover town centre.
A public consultation took place, between December and January, which saw more than 1,100 people share their views on the emerging vision for the future of the Town. Local residents and businesses attended a key stakeholder event at St Mary’s Church, a public drop-in shop at Bridge Street and completed an online survey to share their thoughts. The initial proposals received an incredibly positive response and NEW masterplanning and Hemingway Design are now using feedback gained from this activity to help inform the final masterplan.
Below is an overview of the latest consultation, including a list of the strengths, weaknesses, gaps and priorities highlighted by participants:
Public consultation outcome
The results from the public consultation emphasized the fact that Andover residents and businesses believe the plans for the Town to be bold, ambitious and logical. Almost two thirds of respondents highlighted the redevelopment of the Chantry Centre as their top priority for the overall project, wanting to see more flexible space for independent traders and the opportunity to bring community events, markets and pop-up activities into the centre.
The proposition to introduce a broader variety of cafés and restaurants into Andover, in particular along the River Anton corridor, was well received and people liked the suggestion of creating a wellbeing quarter, featuring a green outdoor public space.
To support the introduction of new facilities in the area, the majority of survey participants were also in favour of plans to transform the Western Avenue gyratory, which will potentially allow the River Anton to be opened up and improve connectivity across the town.
Improving connectivity across the town
Opening up the Chantry Centre making it more public
Variety of open spaces and how they are connected
Access to the river
Cafes and restaurants along the river
Making more of a civic use of the Guildhall
Bringing The Lights theatre into the heart of the community
Introducing more residential properties into the town centre
Need to conduct a wider study on the routes into the centre of town
It could be difficult for businesses to manage change
Are green spaces big enough?
Sainsbury’s is ugly and needs to move
Are we considering the aging population, who cannot always walk and cycle, enough?
Will reducing the roads be future proof
What if Simplyhealth leave in the future? The building needs to be adaptable.
Move the museum into the town centre
More consideration for street lighting, trees, recycling bins, cycle storage
Dedicated spot to busk
What is the town’s USP?
Hotel / conference centre
Redevelopment of the Chantry Centre
Events in the town centre to encourage footfall
Communication and a clear plan for moving forward (timescales)
Removing the highway to make the most of the river and improve access for pedestrians and cyclists
Keeping people in the town centre
Council offices in the town centre and job centre to bring in jobs
Improving the night time economy
As the draft masterplan continues to take shape, the next step in the process will be to share the updated proposals with Andover residents and businesses in the next few months. Hemingway Design and NEW masterplanning will continue to progress with developing their vision for Andover, before the final Masterplan is then adopted by the council.
You can view the latest proposals for the town at: www.thinkandovertowncentre.co.uk
Update published February 2020
Residents and businesses help to shape the future of Andover
In June 2019 nationally renowned urban design experts, HeminwayDesign and NEW masterplanning, were appointed by Test Valley Borough Council to deliver a masterplan for Andover town centre. Development of the masterplan is now well underway, following two in-depth public consultations, which have taken place over the past six months.
NEW masterplanning and HemingwayDesign first conducted a public consultation last summer, asking Andover residents and businesses to share their visions for the future of the town. Representatives from the masterplanners and the council met with members of the public at a series of Four Fun Friday events in the High Street, as well as setting up consultations with partners and Hampshire County Council, hosting events for stakeholders and Andover BID members and attending the Andover Carnival. A survey was also open for contributions online.
Almost 3000 residents, workers, students and visitors responded to the survey, to share their vision for the future of the town. The responses from this initial consultation showed that the people of Andover felt the town centre looked tired and dated and were keen to see more variety in terms of shops and restaurants, with 72 percent of respondents hoping to see more independent retailers. People wanted to make more of the town centre’s historic buildings, including its Georgian architecture, and have better access to the River Anton. There was a mixed response to the question of more housing in the centre, with around half saying they would like to see more opportunities to live in the centre of the town.
The results from the initial consultation were consolidated and reviewed in detail to help inform the emerging redevelopment proposals. The vision for the future of Andover was presented to the public at the end of 2019. Visuals of the plans were displayed at a drop-in shop on Bridge Street in December and made available to view and comment on at www.thinkandovertowncentre.co.uk. The proposals include redeveloping the Chantry Centre to open up the High Street and enhance the views of St Mary’s and restore historic connections, relocating The Lights theatre, creating more spaces for events, revitalising Andover’s historic core by providing better links between the Guildhall, church, the Iron Age museum and Town Mills and removing sections of the ring road to help facilitate better access to the River Anton and Vigo Park.
More than 1,100 people have shared their thoughts on the proposed plans for the town and this feedback is now being reviewed by HemingwayDesign and NEW masterplanning. The results from the second survey will help the design experts to develop a final draft masterplan, which will be presented to the public in spring. Andover residents and businesses will then have the chance to have their say in how the town is shaped before the final masterplan is agreed and adopted by Test Valley Borough Council.
To see the latest town centre redevelopment proposals visit: www.thinkandovertowncentre.co.uk
Update published in November 2019
Earlier this year Test Valley Borough Council purchased the Chantry Centre in Andover's town centre. The council already owned the freehold but now owns the long leasehold having bought this from Aviva. This is a very real demonstration of our commitment to regenerating the town. As the council pushes forward with its vision for Andover, the project to develop a Cultural Quarter on the adjacent site is being joined with the Chantry Centre.
The project will begin with the council developing a masterplan for the area and we are delighted that HemingwayDesign and NEW Masterplanning are delivering this. To have two high-profile companies on board is genuinely exciting and indicates the significance of this major project.
The masterplan process will take around 12 months to complete and will involve significant consultation with the public to decide what the future of Andover will look like. Once the masterplan is in place, the council is likely to appoint a developer partner to start delivering changes in the town.
The town centre redevelopment area
The Cultural Quarter area includes The Lights theatre, Andover College, the new leisure centre, Andover Magistrates’ Court and one of the Simply Health offices. Following the purchase of the Chantry Centre, the council is now a majority landowner and we have the opportunity to fundamentally redevelop the town centre and ensure that it serves its growing community.
In the meantime...
We will be pressing ahead with other enhancements to the town centre. Our brand new leisure centre will be a wonderful facility for the town and our decision to keep this facility in the town centre means it will bring valuable footfall to this area.
Our plans for delivering a new riverside park at Town Mills are progressing as we continue to work with Hampshire County Council to bring this project to life. This will be another important piece in the fabric of the Andover town centre of the future. Creating an attractive, family friendly space is at the heart of the council’s proposals for this area and indeed will be underlying principles for the redevelopment of our town centre, reflecting the evolution of other town centres like Andover.
The council will also be taking opportunities to make some immediate improvements. We receive regular feedback about the condition of the Chantry Centre toilets at the bus station and so refurbishing these will be one of the projects at the top of our list.
At the end of January 2019, the council opened a new Changing Places toilet facility in the Unity office, which also operates the Shopmobility scheme. This will assist in improving the accessibility of our town centre. We also know from speaking to customers of The Lights and Andover Leisure Centre that it would be helpful for us to extend the opening hours of the Chantry Centre car park. In April, we extended the opening time to enable those eating, drinking, exercising and socialising to stay out for longer.
The redevelopment of the town centre will be a large and complex project and it isn’t going to happen overnight but we are starting work on it straight away. We will continue to share our plans with residents and businesses along the way.
September 2020 – Andover town centre redevelopment one step closer
September 2020 – New era for Andover as masterplan published
January 2020 – Andover residents help decide the future of the town
January 2020 – There’s more time to have your say in the future of Andover!
December 2019 – Let’s shape Andover together!
December 2019 – Ambitious plans emerge to enhance town centre
December 2019 – Take first peek at the redevelopment proposals next week!
December 2019 – Newly refurbished toilets set to open in the Chantry Centre
October 2019 - Students share their vision for the future of Andover
September 2019 - Community comes together to talk about town centre transformation
August 2019 - Town Mill transformation gets green light
April 2019 – Council buys Chantry Centre