Residents’ views wanted over partial pedestrianisation of Blandford Forum Market Place plans

BLANDFORD could see its Market Place partly pedestrianised in the future – and the town council wants to hear what residents would like to see in the potential new space.

Blandford Forum Town Council say it is responding to the local desire to revitalise the Market Place by creating a vibrant atmosphere and attracting more footfall, of both residents and visitors.

As part of this, the council is considering a part pedestrianisation of the area to the left of the Town Hall/Corn Exchange – with ideas already discussed such as pop-up cafés, and creating a space for local groups, charitable organisations, theatrical and musical performances – but the council say it is “very much open to ideas.”

If approved, the plans would see some of the parking spaces removed.

The Market Place area which could be part pedestrianised. Click on the image to enlarge it Picture: Blandford Forum Town Council

An online consultation has been launched to find out what residents want.

Dorset Council owns the land, and its officers have put this plan together, offering the town council the opportunity to introduce and manage a six-month trial period.

A spokesperson for the council said: “The town council was involved in discussions with the former North Dorset District Council (NDDC), the Town Team, Town Museum, and other interested parties, 10 years ago looking at potential improvements for the Market Place with a focus on a covered market area and possible pedestrianisation.

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“In 2016, the town council took on responsibility from NDDC for the street market. Then, in 2019, a Market Area Enhancement Working Group was established with the aim of delivering a project to enhance the street market area using a £70,000 grant provided by NDDC.

“The town council was keen to see some sort of pedestrianisation in the Dorset Council-owned area and initial consultations were carried out.”

Before these ideas could be further progressed, the pandemic intervened, followed by the replacement of the town centre paving slabs by the Dorset Council, which rendered any further large-scale changes in the town centre impractical for the time being.

A spokesperson said: “In September 2023, the Dorset Council proposed pedestrianisation of the area to the left of the Town Hall/Corn Exchange, for a trial period, with some limited funding attached.

“However, their intention was for the trial to take place in 2024, which would have coincided with the works taking place to the Corn Exchange and the anticipated requirement for plant to be located outside the building.

“The Town Council therefore resolved that the part-pedestrianisation project will be linked to the completion of the regeneration of the Town Hall/Corn Exchange.

“The Town Council’s Working Group wants to know how residents would like to see the space being used. Suggested usage is for pop-up cafés, local groups and charitable organisations, theatrical and musical performances, but we are very much open to ideas.

“This is a monthly agenda item on the Town Council meetings, so you are welcome to attend a meeting to hear discussions and express your opinions too.”

Scan this QR code to go to the consultation Picture: Blandford Forum Town Council

A public consultation has been produced by the Town Council and you can share your views by 31st August 2024 by scanning the QR code (above, picking up a copy from the Town Council Office in Legion House, Church Lane or using the following link:


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