£1m revamp Work is behind but it should finish ‘in weeks’
IT is running behind schedule but work on revamping part of Cheltenham’s High Street should be finished in the next few weeks.
That is according to the borough council, which says nearly £1million has been spent on smartening up the paved area outside the new John Lewis shop.
The £23million department store opened on October 18 when not all of the work on the pavement had been completed.
The council had previously said it expected the work to be finished in the time for the opening.
Councillors were keen to see all the broken paving slabs and patchwork surfacing replaced with new slabs.
But when branch manager Martin Bundy and other staff declared it open, there were still two areas of the pavement that did not have the new slabs on them.
They were temporarily covered over and work is now continuing on creating two large areas that will hold trees and plants.
And while some councillors may be irritated that workers did not finish the job in time for the much-anticipated launch of the store, one of their leaders denied this was the case and suggested he was not disappointed.
Councillor Andrew Mckinlay (LD, Up Hatherley), the council’s cabinet member for development and safety, said: “We are now in the last phase of works for this part of High Street.
“We ensured the area in front of John Lewis was ready by its opening date and we worked with Cheltenham BID to supply planters when the granite shipment had been delayed.
“Now we can see the permanent planters installed and these will be filled with trees and perennial plants in the next few weeks which will become a great feature in our High Street.
“Almost a million pounds has been invested into this area and it’s a pleasure to see our plans to revitalise High Street come to fruition as we’ve seen new locally sourced Forest of Dean paving, seating and granite planterseating being put into the refurbished street.”
An investment of £929,000 was made by Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council with some additional financial support for sustainable planting being provided by the European Structural and Investment Fund.
Although the revamp of High Street around the John Lewis store will soon be finished, questions remain as to whether nearby Cambray Place will get the same treatment.
The pavement in the street, which is directly off High Street, is a mixture of light-coloured paving slabs and a black in-fill material.
This has created an untidy patchwork effect that had also blighted parts of High Street.
When asked whether the Cambray Place pavement would also be improved and if so when, Mr Mckinlay said: “We’re looking to agree a funding package to improve the area around Cambray Place and continue to work with our colleagues at Gloucestershire County Council to assess the implications of central government’s ask to local authorities to pause work on ‘shared space’ schemes whilst it reviews issues raised by equality groups.” email@example.com
Work continues on revamping part of High Street