Town Centre First

We need to make our towns and villages liveable spaces with vibrant communities, promoting compact urban development to both improve health and wellbeing, and to provide a sustainable way of living.

Our vision is to restore our towns and villages to liveable spaces with vibrant communities, promoting compact urban development to both improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens and to provide a sustainable way of living where travel requirements are reduced, and a low-carbon lifestyle is encouraged.

The Town Centre First policy can offer a solution to both the current housing crisis and the climate crisis by promoting sustainable and compact urban living.

To achieve this, actions need to be taken to recreate liveable towns and to refurbish and re-use vacant properties in town centres and within town boundaries. 

Key Policy Points

Meaningful public engagement with town communities.

Designing the Public Realm around people.

Designing towns for active travel and sustainable mobility.

Tackling air quality, noise and light pollution and safety issues to ensure that town living enhances health and wellbeing.

Creating safe, intergenerational communities

Creating biodiverse, nature and people friendly spaces for recreation.

Providing easy access to social, economic and cultural services.

Promoting community initiatives such as Energy Communities, Housing Trusts and Community

Proactively tackling vacancy in town centres and returning vacant and derelict properties to both residential and commercial or other use.

Lifting barriers to buying and renovating town centre properties and making them attractive for first-time buyers, families and downsizers.

Conserving traditional buildings, and ensuring their sensitive restoration and appropriate re-use.

Developing brownfield sites for residential use.

Providing serviced sites within town boundaries

Piloting the Town Centre First programme initially in five pilot towns of various sizes and geographical locations.

Policy revised: October 2021

UN Sustainable Development Goals: 9, 11

Share on