Questions over Cirencester Market Place plans to be answered by Cirencester Town Council
RESIDENTS confused over controversial plans that could see on overhaul of the centre of Cirencester are to have the chance to have their questions answered.
The Cirencester town centre regeneration project is expected to cost up to £1.5million.
The plans could see a total redesign of roads around the town centre including reducing traffic on the south side of the market place to a single carriageway to open up a new pedestrianised zone in front of the Parish Church.
Castle Street is also set to become one-way eastbound to encourage drivers to use the ring road rather than cutting through the town, which it is hoped will cut congestion in the centre.
However, the scheme has proved controversial, prompting a flood of letters into the Standard. A recent poll on the Standard website revealed 72 per cent of respondents were in favour of a referendum on the project.
At Tuesday’s meeting of Cirencester Town Council members agreed that residents had not been fully informed about the project and decided on a raft of measures to allow them to scrutinise the plans, including a week-long public exhibition in May.
"It’s a fine plan and one that will benefit the town immensely."Town councillor Geoffrey Adams
Many have expressed serious concerns about the project, with Gloucester Street resident Stephen Langton saying at the meeting he did not feel it was a good use of money.
"Council tax payers’ money should be used for essentials, not frills," he said.
However, Cllr Geoffrey Adams said he felt a revamp of the area was long overdue, describing the current market place as "a car park with a dual carriageway either side of it".
"It’s a fine plan and one that will benefit the town immensely," he said. "Cirencester, the so-called capital of the Cotswolds, deserves it."
Other measures approved at Tuesday's meeting include a dedicated website and Facebook page, letters written to every home in the town and a public question and answer session to be held in June.
The scheme has been on the cards for more than 40 years, with the latest plans unveiled at a public exhibition last September.
The project is being driven by the Cirencester Development Trust, which includes Cirencester Town Council, Cotswold District Council and Gloucestershire County Council, and it is hoped that work on the project could start in January 2014.
- What do you think about the market plans? Leave your comments below.
- To view a selection of articles on the plans and letters written to the Standard on the scheme see the related links tab to the right of this page.