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Final plans for town growth

October 30, 2008 1:25 PM
By Charles West

The final version of an ambitious plan which will be used to shape the growth of the town over the next five years has been agreed by the Town Council.

For the past six weeks, the draft town plan which sets out the council's main aims and priorities up to 2013, has gone out to public consultation.

The final plan was agreed by Church Stretton Town Council and both district and county councillors have written to Shropshire County Council to ask for its full backing.

Better pedestrian access has been highlighted as one of the main areas for development and the need for prompt action was endorsed by residents who gave feedback.

A recent exhibition set out options for traffic improvements in the town including a full re-design of the Town Square and High Street area. A joint working group has since been set up between the Town Council and the Church Stretton Area Partnership which followed studies commissioned from the Transport Research Unit of the county council.

Based on the working group's findings, the Town Council will come forward with proposals on how best to spend the provisional allocation of county funding in next year's budget, to begin the process of transforming the town centre.

Councillor Dr Charles West, said it was vital that decisions are not delayed by the change to a unitary council. "The pavements along the High Street are too narrow in places to accommodate pedestrians safely, never mind prams and buggies.

"During the time we were inspecting the patch two ladies came in motorised scooters and were unable to pass one another. We then saw a lorry mounting the pavement trying to pass another heading in the opposite direction."

Councillor Heather Kidd added: "Certainly, given the elderly nature of Church Stretton's population, this situation can't be allowed to continue."

This article posted on October 30, 2008