Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Town centre makeover faces delay until 2013
PLANS to transform Hadleigh town centre may not be approved until next year.
The £60million masterplan aims to boost trade by restricting traffic between the old fire station and Rectory Road, and closing part of London Road to parking.
The High Street would then be opened to two-way traffic.
A final decision on the plans was postponed in March after a £30,000 survey assessing whether the new traffic layout would work was deemed invalid, due to the effect of traffic jams at Sadlers Farm.
A new traffic survey will be conducted in October, but, Essex County Council says the results are not expected until the new year, delaying any decision on the masterplan even further.
A county council spokesman said: “Arrangements for the surveys, including the programme, are being considered at present, and a timetable will be confirmed once these arrangements have been finalised. It is hoped the results will be available in the early part of next year.”
The regeneration of Hadleigh was first proposed in December 2010, but residents have spoken of their frustration that plans have still not left the drawing board.
However, David Hurrell, 57, of Willow Walk, fears the traffic restrictions will come into force, no matter what.
He said: “The report has been going on so long now the feeling is the masterplan is a done deal, no matter what the survey says.
“We haven’t had a meeting on the regeneration since March, because it all hinges on this traffic report. It just seems like they will keep doing it until they get the result they want that will allow the plans to go ahead, which could take who knows how long.”
The ambitious plans include transforming the Crown pub, in High Street, into an arthouse cinema, improving shop frontages and creating a space for a market.