A new lease of life for Midsomer Norton

Construction has now started on the regeneration of ‘The Island’ at Midsomer Norton. The £2.39 million public realm regeneration project will craft a versatile outdoor space adjacent to the Town Hall, enhancing the town and facilitating various organised events for the community. Complementing the separate Town Hall refurbishment project, the project will support both indoor and outdoor event capabilities, redefining the site’s historical significance as a community hub for the town.

Our Landscape Architects have led the design of the scheme, collaborating closely with Bath and North East Somerset (BANES), Historic England, and representatives from the Town Hall, to translate initial design concepts into comprehensive hard and soft landscape construction plans. Encompassing approximately 1,000 sq m of new public realm, the space will accommodate events of varying scales. Moreover, the relocation of a local bus stop and reconfiguration of the existing access road will carve out a pedestrian-friendly zone beside the Town Hall, whilst retaining parking for up to 10 cars, including accessible spaces. This flexible layout will allow for the temporary suspension of parking during larger civic events or markets while retaining access to local retailers and businesses.

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Visualisation of the proposed Market Square. All images by NPAVisuals.

Designed with sensitivity to the historic context, the new market square will replace outdated tarmac and concrete with high-quality natural stone, selected in collaboration with BANES’ funding partners Historic England. Nestled within the Midsomer Norton Conservation Area and bordered by several Listed Buildings, this material choice will elevate the site’s aesthetic appeal. Enhanced with planting beds and seating, the space will be attractive and welcoming throughout the year.

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Visualisation of the proposed Market Square. All images by NPAVisuals

Following constructive community consultations, where initial design concepts garnered positive feedback, the project has evolved to incorporate community input and refine its details.

The project forms part of the Midsomer Norton High Street Regeneration Programme. This initiative seeks to stimulate economic growth by celebrating the town’s rich heritage and drawing both residents and tourists to its centre. The Market Square is being delivered by BANES, with funding and support provided by Historic England, the West of England Combined Authority through its ‘Love Our High Streets’ grant programme and Midsomer Norton Town Council.

The project is due to complete in early 2025.

Tom is a Chartered Landscape Architect with extensive experience in the assessment, design, and implementation of landscape schemes across a diverse selection of projects throughout the UK.

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