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Vision for our garden town

'Taunton, the County Town of Somerset, will be flourishing, distinctive, and healthy – and the country’s benchmark Garden Town. We will be proud to live and work in a place where the outstanding natural environment, diverse and thriving economy and inspiring cultural offer, contribute to an exceptional quality of life and well-being'

We want to make sure that our Vision for Taunton as a Garden Town is shared and owned by everyone with a stake in its future.

The story so far

Taunton was designated a Garden Town in 2017. Since then we’ve gone out to our community in a number of ways:

  • garden town ‘listening events’
  • targeted workshops with groups and those with specific interests
  • garden town visioning event
  • consultation and engagement (Spring 2019)
  • formal adoption of the Vision by Somerset West and Taunton Council

We have set out four themes:

Give our town a green makeover, joining up our green spaces, waterways, parks and play spaces, planting more street trees and woodlands and managing our water more imaginatively with wetlands and rain gardens to improve it for recreation, tourism and wildlife.

We will integrate our transport network so that it serves Taunton with much improved bus and appropriate vehicle links to our main destinations and make much better prioritised provision for walkers and cyclists encouraging healthier and more sustainable journey choices as attractive alternatives to travelling by car.

We will deliver an outstanding built environment focused on places and spaces with high quality neighbourhoods, green streets and public spaces and with homes and buildings that are distinctly local in appearance. Our houses, offices, employment areas, public services and road infrastructure will embrace innovation, will be energy efficient and will exploit the latest sustainable technologies.

We will responsibly nourish partnership, prosperity and growth in social value, through our strengths in knowledge, education, culture and business. We will germinate and grow sustainable arts and cultural venues as hubs that foster excellence in the region. We will pursue low carbon and digital infrastructure to make a town that connects businesses and markets well, drawing on our University Centre and growth industries in digital, land, marine informatics, health and nuclear.

Next steps

Turning the long term vision and ideas set out in the document into reality will require on-going engagement with our partners and the wider community and their buy-in and support in delivering projects and activities. We will prepare a Delivery Plan to set out in more detail how we will make this happen.