THE next stage of a project aimed at transforming Romsey has begun.

Councillors, stakeholders and experts have started developing a masterplan which will shape the area south of the town centre.

The scheme, run by Romsey Future in partnership with Nexus Planning and Perkins and Will architects, will see the area including Crosfield Hall and the bus station improved over the next few years.

As previously reported, dozens of residents had their say and took part in public events in October to tell town bosses and architects how they would like Romsey to look in the future.

Residents suggested there should be more green spaces in the town centre and urged civic chiefs to rebuild Crosfield Hall, described as “too old” and “not fit for purpose”.

Now local councillors, stakeholders and architects have started drawing up plans based on the results of the public consultation.

Chairman of Romsey Future, councillor Nick Adams-King, said: “We continue to stress that at the moment nothing is set at all. We are evaluating all the ideas and wanted people to begin to try to visualise where some of the suggestions could go and how we could make the most of the area, so that we can talk to the public again early in 2019. We will at that point explain which ideas might work, which we think will not, and why.”

Town bosses discussed the plans at an event held at Abbotswood Community Centre earlier this month.

During the event, topics such as parking and making the most of the River Test were discussed, as well as how they could be incorporated into the forming of any masterplan.

“What was most pleasing to see over the weekend was just how many people expressed an interest and came down to offer their input. There was a real energy in the room and agreement that the process offered a once in a generation opportunity for Romsey,” Cllr Adams-King added.

The council has confirmed that 1,500 residents took part in the consultation run earlier this year.