Am­bi­tious plans for High Street re­vealed

Fresh look in­cludes trees and a big­ger foun­tain

Gloucestershire Echo - - FRONT PAGE - Leigh BOOBYER [email protected]­

MA­JOR plans to make parts of Chel­tenham’s high street in­clud­ing Boots Cor­ner - look more like the out­side of John Lewis have been un­veiled.

Chel­tenham Bor­ough Coun­cil has re­leased a 3D an­i­mated fly-past of the vi­sion to re­vamp the town cen­tre from the Strand and Cam­bray Place right to the Honey­bourne Line bridge at the end of the lower High Street.

Among the plans in­clude re-sur­fac­ing Cam­bray Place and po­ten­tially re­plac­ing the foun­tain at Boots Cor­ner with a larger one.

And the ar­ti­fi­cial grass placed around the foun­tain will be ditched for a large, open pub­lic space with trees, wa­ter fea­tures and seat­ing.

The au­thor­ity said the an­i­ma­tion shows how the area could look if traf­fic re­duc­tion is made per­ma­nent once the pi­lot clo­sure of Boots Cor­ner ends in De­cem­ber 2019.

The plans also in­clude new steps on the Honey­bourne Bridge in Lower High Street for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists

to ac­cess the high street.

The bor­ough coun­cil said the de­signs could change and it is ask­ing formem­bers of the pub­lic to share their views in a con­sul­ta­tion which will run un­til Au­gust 9.

Coun­cil­lor An­drew Mckin­lay (LD, Up Hather­ley), cab­i­net mem­ber for devel­op­ment and safety, con­firmed they want to make the Boots Cor­ner area and Cam­bray Place and the Strand look more like John Lewis.

The video also shows the pel­i­can cross­ing on Boots Cor­ner will be kept, and also re­cently in­tro­duced ad­di­tions to the high street such as pocket parks and the re­moval of un­wanted rail­ings.

The coun­cil said the an­i­ma­tion for the new look high street shows “am­bi­tious ideas for the fu­ture” to add to the £23mil­lion John Lewis store and £1mil­lion of ren­o­va­tions to the town cen­tre.

Mr Mckin­lay said: “The fly-through vis­ually show­cases the im­prove­ments that have al­ready hap­pened along the high street, as well as our as­pi­ra­tion for other parts of the town cen­tre in­clud­ing Boots Cor­ner.

“It is im­por­tant to note that we have not worked up full de­signs for the space as we need to await the out­come of the trial, how­ever the fly­through re­ally helps to en­vis­age how the area could look and how ben­e­fi­cial con­nec­tiv­ity is for the high street, by bring­ing all parts of the town cen­tre to­gether.”

Chel­tenham’s high street saw more peo­ple roam around the town cen­tre in Novem­ber and De­cem­ber last year.

Fig­ures re­leased by the bor­ough coun­cil show foot­fall was up by 2 per cent in Novem­ber and 1.8 per cent in De­cem­ber, while dur­ing the same pe­riod high streets saw a na­tional drop by 5 per cent in foot­fall.

The data, from na­tional data an­a­lysts Spring­board, shows in Jan­uary 2019 there was a drop of 3 per cent year on year, but Fe­bru­ary saw a 15 per cent in­crease. Visit chel­ high-street-vi­sion

Shots from the an­i­ma­tion show­ing how Boots Cor­ner and the High Street could look

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