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‘Desolate’ Kingsbury needs a facelift – and fewer bookies and off-licenses

Kingsbury, and below, the area in the 1950s when it was used as a bus station

Kingsbury, and below, the area in the 1950s when it was used as a bus station

Kingsbury needs a facelift according to council chiefs who have included the area in their town centre masterplan.

Teresa Lane, head of town centre management at the council said new government planning rules designed to limit the spread of betting shops could help to improve the area, which was given a spruce-up several years ago when the toilets were removed and a fountain added.

They are also looking to limit the number of off-licenses.

She said: “We already have the views of people who are visiting the town centre, they want more green spaces to relax and enjoy.

“But we need to make sure that the local businesses benefit from any changes too.

“What we want to see is a mix and a range of businesses in a town centre, not one kind of business dominating the town centre.”

The council has formed a stakeholder group, to discuss ways to improve the historic part of town. This includes identifying ‘options for improving the physical environment, looking at seating, lighting, surfaces etc so that better use of the open space can be made all year round’.

The council’s action plan also wants to ‘improve and promote Kingsbury as the gateway to the Old Town, eg through the signage strategy for the old town’.

Roger King, honorary secretary of the Aylesbury Society said that Kingbury’s cafe culture needs to be encouraged more, to make it a more welcoming place for businesses.

He said: “We would like to see more outside heaters and windshields like on the continent, I also don’t think that the water feature is really working - do we really need that?

“Kingbury is a conservation area so some of those buildings are listed.

“The council has a shop front guide, so I think they should enforce it so the area looks more traditional.

“This would also encourage more tourists into the town, when they come at the moment Kingsbury looks like quite a desolate place.”

New government rules give local authorities more power over how many betting shops they approve for the town centre.

Just before the rules came in Bedfred applied to set up a new shop in Aylesbury’s Market Square, the district council threw out the plans, and on appeal the Government’s planning inspectorate agreed that Aylesbury town centre did not need any more betting shops.

 

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