New square for town

PUBLISHED: 17:00 18 May 2012


WESTON is set to have a new pedestrianised area in the town centre called Church Square.

The public space, in front of Emmanuel Church’s Union Street side, will form part of a £565,000 set of improvements earmarked for the areas around High Street and Oxford Street.

Part of the Dolphin Square redevelopment project, the work is set to be mainly funded by developer McLaren Life.

It will take place in two parts, with the first in the High Street planned for completion before the peak summer season.

The creation of Church Square, which will result in the loss of vehicle access from from Oxford Street to Union Street, will form the second part of the work later this year.

The pedestrianised area will benefit from street furniture and could become a smaller version of Princess Royal Square on the seafront.

Executive member for highways and development, Elfan Ap Rees, said: “The aim is to get on with this and we hope it will attract retailers to take up space in Dolphin Square.

“We also hope it will attract people to that end of the High Street and help people trying to run shops in that area.”

The first phase of work involves regenerating the southern end of the High Street by relocating bus stops and shelters, improving the pavements and kerbs and adding new street furniture.

North Somerset Council is working with bus company First to relocate three bus stops and shelters to new locations in the town centre.

The work will also see some pavements along High Street widened and the carriageway narrowed, while new paving and kerbs will be installed.

Improved street furniture, such as benches, street lighting and litter bins will also be added, and new trees will be planted.

There will be new or improved pedestrian crossing points, improved drainage, extended taxi ranks during Friday and Saturday nights, and extra CCTV along the street.

The aim is to increase the attractiveness of the town centre and link it to McLaren Life’s multi-million pound Dolphin Square redevelopment, in turn making the project more attractive to potential tenants.

Although the money is due to come from McLaren Life by October, as the council is keen to crack on with the work, it has successfully applied for temporary funding through the West of England Revolving Structure Fund.

That will then be paid back when the money from the developer is received, when work begins on the leisure and retail section of the square or this October, whichever is later.

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