Plans to revamp Highcliffe high street with ‘cafe culture’ look

revamp highcliffe high street
Highcliffe’s high street, the A337 Lymington Road, could be redesigned

RADICAL proposals to revamp Highcliffe high street with a new “café culture” include imposing a 20mph speed limit, removing parking bays and widening pavements.


The suggestions to make the village centre “less congested and chaotic” have been unveiled by the parish council which announced last year that it was looking at ways to revitalise it.

It employed consultants Paul Basham Associates to look at ways the A337 Lymington Road through the community could be improved and made more attractive for visitors.

As a result, a leaflet outlining the proposals has been delivered to residents and businesses in the village and a drop-in exhibition was recently held at the Old School outlining the plans.

Among the suggestions are free parking sessions in the Wortley Road car park to help “remove the dominance” of vehicles in the village centre, and a new zebra crossing.

Increased road signage for cyclists is aimed at improving safety while it will also “encourage through traffic to take another route on the basis that pedestrians and cyclists have priority”.

There will also be a reduction in “trip and bump hazards” making it safer for people using mobility aids including scooters and wheelchairs.

In its leaflet the council acknowledged that “elements of the proposals may well spark strong debate” but added the aim was to “foster a more continental-style atmosphere built around a café culture”.

It hoped the improvements will lead to people spending more time in the village centre helping businesses, as well as promoting social distancing amid the pandemic.

Cllr Andy Martin told the A&T that the council wanted to make the High Street as “vibrant and sustainable as possible”.

Councillor Andy Martin

He said: “We want to make it a more pleasant environment for pedestrians. Getting the lines of parked cars off the High Street will help us to obtain that.

“At present you have cars pulling in and out of parking bays all the time and people trying to cross the road in between the gaps.

“Widening the pavements once the bays have gone will make the village centre a safer and nicer place to be. It will also be a better environment for businesses.”

Cllr Martin said there would be at least two disabled parking bays kept on the high street.

Speaking about the 20mph speed limit proposal, he said: “In the summer it may seem like there is just one long traffic jam in the village centre but at other times we have traffic, including big lorries, speeding through at 30-40mph.

“Reducing the speed limit will make the high street safe for both pedestrians and cyclists.”

He said feedback from residents and businesses to the proposals to improve the High Street had been “very, very supportive”.

The parish council, he added, are due to discuss the “way forward” at a meeting next Monday.

He said: “We hope to sit down with BCP Council, and we think they will be in favour of what are some really good ideas and give us their support.

“BCP Council encourage the vitality of district centres. Improving the high street was our absolute top priority when the parish council was formed last year.”

Funding for the improvements will come from developers’ contributions, BCP Council, central government grants and parish council funds. Any major works will need the blessing of BCP Council to go ahead.



  1. Why did you sell what was the bypass for Highcliffe and build houses you had the chance and lost it shame on you all councillors A S

  2. Dear Mr Martin,

    What you’re proposing sounds super. I have no need to drive into Highcliffe as I can walk there. And I agree the high street is busy with cars pulling in and out.

    But have you considered that your continental view of a high street may not be what today’s shopper wants?

    If you were to remove free parking and/or the convenience of the high street parking, there is every probability you may see a decline in shopper numbers, thus killing the high street?

    For instance there has now been roadworks on the high street for a number of weeks, (think of it as your traffic calming measure) – I suspect if you asked those shops on the high street they’d tell you footfall and customer numbers are down throughout.

    I’m all up for change but think carefully before you move on your continental view of the Costa-del-Highcliffe.

  3. Strange that the only parking bays are in the widest part of Lymington Road! The narrowest part of the road has double yellows.
    How will they stop large lorries using the main A337? With the Co-OP & Tesco accepting deliveries from juggernauts that are delivering a small quantity of cages! Maybe discussions with them both should be considered.
    A cafe culture? Possibly but surely the residents & visitors would like some shops to actually look around. Those would come with lower rates & therefore rents. We have a butcher & bakery we do not have fruit & veg.
    Highcliffe was a thriving village pre the ‘improvements’ taking place. So think carefully councillors and listen to ALL the residents. There are families with children having range of ages. Not just retired residents. Highcliffe has over the years become a retirement area for the over 60s with money. The last thing Highcliffe or even the wider area needs is more over 50s flats. The area needs small 2 & 3 bedroom estates that first time buyers and couples with 1 or 2 children can afford.
    With the introduction of yellow buses to complement the more bus route and being able to have use of Beryl Bikes Highcliffe looks as if it could be on track to have a reasonable transport system.

  4. Can the huge lorries over 7.5 be directed down or up the Ringwood Road to the roundstone roundabout instead of through Highcliffe? (Excepting delivery access)
    Free parking in the High Street and easy access to shops encourages people to the High Street.
    Cyclists should be directed to either Wortley Road or Wharncliffe Road if passing through.
    Making pavements smoother is a good idea.
    Thank you.

  5. I like the idea, brilliant! Finally some common sense here and some boldness. This kind of planning always needs to tackle actual problems but – more important – include long-term perspective to serve a community that is a different one than the today’s elderly. Thumb up from my side.

  6. Hello Mr. Martin,
    Revitalising the Highcliffe high street sounds good,but what about free parking for residents?I live in the high street and my flat doesn’t have a parking spot.It’s very frustrating mostly when you have two small kids.There are a lot of private parkings who are almost empty even on peak times.Can you please consider that the residents are such as important as the local businesses are?
    Thank you.

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