Blueprint to re-energise Eastover set to become reality

This is The West Country: SEDGEMOOR District Council is expected to formally approve the regeneration plan for Eastover in January. SEDGEMOOR District Council is expected to formally approve the regeneration plan for Eastover in January.

PLANS to re-energise Bridgwater's Eastover are edging closer to becoming reality – with the blueprint hoped to get the seal of approval from Sedgemoor District Council in the New Year.

Last week the council formally recommended that the framework of regeneration for the Bridgwater area, known as the Eastover Supplementary Planning Document or SPD, should be officially given the green light.

Once given the go-ahead, it's hoped the SPD will pave the way for drawing trade, visitors and shoppers back into Eastover in central Bridgwater, as a response to its overall decline in the last few years, including the rise in the number of vacant properties.

Among the aims laid out in the document are plans to improve the appearance of the area through high-quality and innovative design, along with the development opportunities posed by the relocation of Bridgwater Hospital.

Sedgemoor District Council leader Cllr Duncan McGinty said it was "an exciting time" for Eastover.

He said: "It's important we have the Supplementary Planning Document in place, otherwise the developments that come forward could have been on a piecemeal basis, so to provide something that show potential vision for the area is important.

"It has the development organised in a way that will bring maximum benefit."

Mike Davis, owner of the Indoor Market in Eastover, said: "How long have they been going on about regenerating Eastover now? We've been down here now for over two years, and they've kept saying it's going to start. We'll only know how positive the plans are when they happen."

Sedgemoor District Council will meet on January 8.

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