Bus station to be protected in redevelopment plans

A council has said it is committed to keeping a bus station open, as it confirmed plans to buy a shopping centre.

Somerset Council has been making improvements to Yeovil town centre as part of a regeneration programme and plans to redevelop the Glovers Walk shopping centre on Middle Street.

In April it said it would spend up to £1m on demolishing the vacant site, with reports indicating the land would be taken into public ownership ahead of a major redevelopment.

The council has now confirmed it is in discussions to buy the site and has promised to protect the bus station which it called a “key transport hub”.

View of the entrance to Glovers Walk
The council plans to demolish the vacant shopping centre if it buys the site [BBC]

The council said discussions with the owner “are ongoing and have been for some time”.

Glovers Walk was acquired by the Martin Property Group in 2018, but the shopping centre, bus station and part of the adjoining land on Lower Middle Street were put on the market in October 2023 for £1.75m.

Yeovil bus station’s future has been a cause for concern since the council passed its annual budget in February, which included cutting funding for the waiting room and public toilets.

Numerous campaign groups have called on Somerset Council to reverse the decision, with the Wells Bus User Group describing the toilets as “indispensable” and the Somerset Bus Partnership planning a rally outside the bus station on Friday.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, councillor Richard Wilkins has now confirmed the waiting room and toilets can remain open for “at least another few months”.

He said: “It is clear people are worried about the future of the bus station.

“That is why we are underlining our commitment to keeping it operational – there are absolutely no plans to close it.

“We have had to take the decision to close the toilets and initially the waiting room to save on cleaning and maintenance costs – we have been very clear that, due to our financial situation, this needed to happen."

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