Green light for Romsey community hub

Former Magistrates Court 2

A new community hub is to be created at the Former Magistrates’ Court (FMC), Romsey. This will see the building being refurbished to bring Romsey Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and Test Valley Community Services (TVCS) together under one roof with Test Valley Borough Council’s customer service facilities and Hampshire County Council.

This development follows the decision by Council last year to proceed with the letting of space at the FMC. Since then the Council has been working with voluntary sector partners to agree the creation of the hub and the building improvements necessary to ensure a good customer experience.

The building will be altered and enhanced to accommodate voluntary sector partners and provide improved facilities for TVBC customers. This will include an enlarged customer waiting area, improved reception facilities, better access for the disabled and those with pushchairs and a dedicated area for viewing plans. The improvements will also see a separate CAB reception point and waiting area, along with additional private interview rooms. Other facilities will be shared.

As part of the agreed improvement works a flagpole will be installed at the front of the building,

Pay and display parking Former Magistrates’ Court – Romsey

Former Magistrates Court 2

Extra public pay and display parking spaces are proposed for the Former Magistrates’ Court car park in Romsey.

A planning application for a change of use from a private to a public car park has been submitted this week. A revised parking order is also being prepared. If approved this would see an extra 11 spaces available on week days and 20 at weekends, in addition to a permanent disabled bay. During the week some spaces are retained for use by visitors to the Council’s customer service facility and Hampshire County Council.

The change of use follows approval by the Council to a series of proposals to help improve car parking in the town for shoppers and visitors. Other plans to create additional and more flexible parking options are being progressed. These include the creation of additional, reduced cost, long stay car parking at Romsey Rapids for those working in the town and to help alleviate parking pressures at the leisure centre at peak recreation times. This would then clear the way to free up more short and medium term spaces in the town centre for shoppers. The longer term parking needs of the town will be considered as part of the Council’s Romsey Future project.

Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transport, Councillor Martin Hatley, said: “I am pleased that the plans to introduce additional pay and display car parking in the Former Magistrates’ Court are being progressed. We are committed to supporting Romsey’s local residents, visitors and businesses alike and will continue our work to create the right conditions to help the local economy flourish. Our plans to improve car parking will help to increase the number of customers visiting stores in the town and improve the experience for shoppers.

“I look forward to seeing the plans for increasing the number of car parking spaces at Romsey Rapids and to using the Romsey Future project to develop longer term options.”

If the change of use is approved we anticipate the car park being operational by early November.

Former Magistrates’ Court

Former Magistrates Court

The new customer service facilities at the Former Magistrates’ Court were opened by the Mayor and the Leader on Monday, 4 February. Currently the building is shared with Hampshire County Council to whom TVBC has granted a long term lease of the first floor and who are currently occupying part of the ground floor pending a planned move as part of HCC’s Workstyle programme.

A report is scheduled to come to Council in September 2013 reviewing the operation of our customer service facilities and considering the future use of the ground floor accommodation currently occupied by HCC. This will include the proposals for Romsey CAB and TVCS as contemplated in the Accommodation Review report that Council considered in June last year.