Malmesbury Town Council has resolved to do further research into pedestrianising the Market Cross, but say they 'neither support nor oppose' plans to do so at this time.

A survey issued by the council in 2018 showed 70 per cent expressed a preference for no further pedestrianisation in the town centre and, at the time, they said no changes would be made 'subject to future circumstances indicating there has been a change of opinion or need'.

But they have now committed to discussions with Cirencester Town Council about their pedestrianisation scheme.

Lately calls to change the Market Cross have resurfaced and last year retired architect Terry Fox drew up plans for how the area could look in the future.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: A drawing by Terry Fox of how the Market Cross could lookA drawing by Terry Fox of how the Market Cross could look

Earlier this month he outlined his proposals, which would make the Market Cross traffic-free but with retained access up Brewery Lane, to the council's planning and environment committee.

Mr Fox claims this would result in it becoming a 'vibrant and popular venue for residents and visitors alike', with increased footfall and trade. He estimates the scheme would cost £500,000 to implement. 

"This is a golden opportunity for Malmesbury to move into the 21st century," he said.

After the meeting he added: “I was heartened by the Town Council agreeing to speak with Cirencester Town Council, a positive step that can only help to drive the project forward.” 

Although the land in question is owned by Wiltshire Council, and any final decision would be made by them, they have indicated the town council will first have to give their backing before the project could proceed. 

A spokesperson for Malmesbury Town Council said: "An extensive survey was carried out by the council in 2018 and an overwhelming 70 per cent of respondents wanted no further pedestrianisation at the site.

"Members of the planning and environment committee resolved that research would be undertaken, particularly with Cirencester, as to the success or otherwise of a similar scheme in Cirencester town centre. 

"Malmesbury Town Council does not support nor diversely oppose Mr Fox’s proposals at this time."