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Meet hears how re-routing road could make store plan acceptable
10:29am Friday 12th October 2012 in News
A meeting organised by Romsey Society to consider the controversial Tesco application heard a radical proposal for the town centre.
Most of the 250 who packed the Crosfield Hall last Friday night opposed plans to build a superstore on Broadlands land south of the bypass.
A more radical solution was put forward for consideration by former society chairman Neill Beasley, who suggested re-routing the bypass from a point somewhere opposite the Crosfield Hall to run south of the cricket ground and skateboard park to a new roundabout on the Southampton Road. He said this would have the crucial advantage of better integrating that whole area – the Rapids, football , rugby and cricket grounds, tennis courts and possible new store – into the town centre.
Part of the existing bypass could be landscaped along with the Tadburn into a quiet amenity area for easier and attractive access to the centre, as well as becoming a pedestrian route from the Tadburn Road area, and eventually perhaps Whitenap. Traffic management for any new store would be easier. Meanwhile the new Southampton Road roundabout would be well positioned to provide access to a new railway bridge that could be needed for any sizeable new development at Whitenap.
Many attending the meeting expressed concern the proposed Tesco development outside the centre of Romsey would have a seriously damaging effect upon existing businesses and upon the life of the town. The effect upon traffic on the by-pass and in Romsey would be serious, particularly if a further roundabout and pelican crossing were to be installed.
There was a suggestion that residents might use the powers under the Local Government Act to demand that a referendum be held on the question.
In conclusion, Chris Esplin-Jones, society vice-chairman, said his organisation would take into account the views expressed at the meeting as it formulated its response. It was clear retail development would come to Romsey in some form or other. While a well-sited development could be of considerable benefit to the town and its businesses, a badly-sited one would have exactly the opposite effect. He urged everyone to write to TVBC and their councillors and in the meantime the society would study more radical solutions.