Shoppers have voiced concerns over a Wiltshire town centre and hope a planned shopping centre redevelopment will spark change.

A consultation is currently running on the future of Emery Gate Shopping Centre in Chippenham after owners Acorn Property Group revealed plans to transform the site.

This proposal is still in the early stages, and it is unclear what the final plans will look like, but the scheme involves the creation of new town centre homes alongside an overhaul of the current commercial offering.

Chippenham residents are divided on the plans, but many believe a transformation of the shopping centre’s retail options should be prioritised to boost the town centre.

Sue Clark said: “We need more shops, somewhere that we can actually buy decent clothes and shoes, and more independent shops not more coffee houses or entertainment places.

READ MORE: Emery Gate Chippenham redevelopment designs revealed

Wiltshire Times: Plans for the front of Emery Gate in ChippenhamPlans for the front of Emery Gate in Chippenham (Image: Acorn Property Group)

“As for housing, why put more and more flats and homes in the middle of town when there is no attached parking?

“There is currently a shortage of facilities to support more housing.”

Stephen Court added: “Retail is dying, not helped by lack of free parking.

“Tesco is one of the only major draws into the town for most people, losing that large shop in town will be the killer.”

Some believe the proposed changes, which Acorn says will “reimagine” the commercial space, can benefit the town.

Cllr Nic Puntis, who has been involved in improvement plans for the River Avon, said: “It would take advantage of the river project.

“The whole scheme would be a massive benefit to the town in terms of increased retail space.”

Others remain cautious over the benefits of the scheme due to the ambiguity of the current designs.

Cllr Matthew Short said there “doesn’t seem to be too much detail” while Cllr Liz Alstrom labelled the lack of clarity “very frustrating”.

READ MORE: Emery Gate shopping centre in Chippenham to be transformed

Wiltshire Times: Plans for Emery Gate in ChippenhamPlans for Emery Gate in Chippenham (Image: Acorn Property Group)

Joanna Hall added: “Information is very sketchy. It gives no clear indication of what they actually want to do.”

Acorn plans to provide more detailed plans at a second consultation and said they are taking shoppers’ views into account in the meantime.

Head of commercial property, Dane Cummings, said: “We’re currently undertaking a public consultation on our initial plans.

“We’ve had a fantastic reception so far with hundreds of people taking part at our in-person event, over the phone, by email and on our website.

“The passion for the success of Emery Gate is clear to see and we’d be delighted to receive even more feedback that will be instrumental in how our plans continue to progress.”