A WORKSHOP and public exhibitions are being held in Watchet for the public to input to an urban design strategy being prepared by consultants.

The town council is working with Somerset Council and Watchet Task Force commissioned award-winning urban design studio Feria Urbanism to prepare a strategy following last year’s closure of the B3191.

The road, which linked the town to Blue Anchor and Carhampton and provided an alternative route when the A39 was blocked, was closed due to the threat of cliffs collapsing.

Somerset Council said it would be too costly to reopen or re-route the B3191, although earlier this year it was opened for walkers with a hope to also soon allow cyclists.

A series of stakeholder interviews were held in Watchet earlier this year to explore how the road closure affected various groups and organisations.

Based on the results, exhibitions are being held in Watchet Community Centre on Thursday and Friday (June 27 and 28) of early ‘urban design ideas’ with an analysis of the town.

On Thursday, there will also be a workshop to further explore design issues affecting Watchet.

Feria Urbanism founder Richard Eastham said: “This project is a response to the recent closure of one of the main access roads into the town due to coastal erosion.

“As a result, current movement patterns are necessarily different to the historic and established ways of getting into and out of the town.

“The effects of this enforced change upon residents, businesses, retailers, and visitors are as yet unknown.

“The urban design strategy will use extensive community engagement to develop a robust response to the new situation.

“The final report will assist the agencies responsible for Watchet to plan for the future, by directing funds and investments into the right projects in the right places.”

Thursday’s exhibition will open at 2pm and a workshop will take place from 7.30pm to 9pm, while Friday’s exhibition, which will include material generated by the workshop, will run from 9.30am to 8pm.

The events are free, but workshop places need to be booked by emailing Annie Robinson at [email protected].