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Cabinet approve next steps for Town Centre Improvement Scheme

Date Published: 11 October 2017

Rutland County Council’s Cabinet has given the go-ahead for detailed design work to take place as part of the next stage of a Town Centre Improvement Scheme for Oakham.

Proposals for the regeneration of Oakham High Street were put forward by Rutland County Council in the summer as part of wider plans to improve the built environment, respond to the changing needs of shoppers and encourage more visitors and businesses into the town.

Public consultation on the proposals took place in June. The preferred option selected by 53% of respondents was for the introduction of a one-way system with traffic flowing west to east along the High Street, incorporating echelon parking, loading bays for businesses, and wider pavements.

Cabinet met on Tuesday 10th October to discuss a report detailing the outcome of the consultation and subsequently approved the selection of Option A (one-way) as the preferred option to be taken forward for further detailed design.

 “Oakham is our County Town and should be the vibrant heart of Rutland. Unfortunately, the town centre has suffered from a lack of investment over many years and a lot of work is now needed to bring it back up to standard. Improving the centre of Oakham is key to improving residents’ experiences, bringing more visitors to the town and developing a thriving economy with a greater choice of shops, markets, cafes and restaurants. If we do nothing to improve Oakham Town Centre this would likely lead to further decline, with reduced footfall and even less inward investment. The Town Centre Improvement Scheme is not just about roads and traffic. It’s an opportunity to create a space where more people want go, shop and relax, giving Oakham the Town Centre it deserves. An overwhelming number of consultation responses wanted something done to improve the town. The majority have indicated a preference for Option A and this is the option we are now looking to develop further.”Council Leader Tony Mathias 

Following Cabinet’s decision, Rutland County Council will now begin work on a detailed design for the High Street, in line with Option A. A third and final phase of consultation will then take place around this detailed design before a final decision on the scheme is taken by Full Council in early 2018.

Approval to fund construction of the Oakham Town Centre Improvement Scheme will not be sought until after the detailed design is complete and target costs have been established.

The Cabinet report around Oakham Town Centre (No: 142/2017) can be viewed in full on the council website.

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