New shops, homes and leisure opportunities feature in a major new master plan for the centre of Northallerton.
The blueprint for the redevelopment of the former prison and rural payments agency offices has been unveiled to the public.
This comes after more than 500 people attended a consultation event on the draft options for the sites, which highlighted how they could make a long term impact on the towns’ economy.
Coun Brian Philips, portfolio holder for housing and planning, said:
“The plans seek to make the most of the opportunity that has been presented by the closure of these two services -and they are designed to complement the High Street and support its viability and vitality.
“There is considerable potential to provide services that the town, and district, would benefit from in the long term.
“The sites proximity to the High Street means we could provide retailing and housing for our active retired residents.
“We are also exploring education needs that could save younger people having to travel out of the district to continue their studies.
“Alongside this there are proposals for a mix of leisure and retail provision which will add to the offer in Northallerton.
“We have made a conscious decision to try to avoid any impact on the High Street.”
He said a hotel, family friendly pub and specialist retails are also possible developments.
The historic nature of the buildings and features of the prison have been taken into account in the proposals – as well as taking on board input from a wide range of stakeholders including landowners, public bodies, and local parish and district Councillors.
They have been drawn up by consultants IBI Taylor Young for Hambleton District Council.
Comments from the consultation will help shape the final masterplan which will be developed by the end of April.
Coun hilips added:
“We were amazed to see so many people attend the consultation and pleased with their positive participation.
“We will take on board all the comments and use them to refine the proposals. We do however have to ensure they are realistic and that the developer market will find them attractive enough to deliver.”
The final masterplan will go before councillors for approval in June . It will then be used to help inform decisions on future planning applications.
The draft proposals will be on display at the Council Offices, Civc Centre, Stone Cross, Northallerton or online at visit www.hambleton.gov.uk/centralnorthallerton