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Thatcham Green to be given quick-fix makeover

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Town council hopes that if it pays to help smarten up the Broadway Green, other traders might follow

IMPROVEMENTS could be made to Broadway Green if residents choose to support Thatcham Town Council proposals.

People are to be consulted about whether they want the scheme to go ahead, after the council agreed to potentially use developers' contributions funds to improve the area.

If the plans are given the thumbs up, the hedging and old wire fence around the green would be removed and a new wooden post border installed.

The idea of the improvement works was brought up by town councillor, Janette Miranda (Lib Dem, Thatcham South and Crookham), who said that this would be a quick-fix way of progressing the enhancement programme and that it would also help to support local businesses and encourage them to smarten up their properties.

Previous improvement plans never got off the ground after West Berkshire Council withdrew its pledge for funding owing to budget cuts.

Since then, no progress has been made to complete the recommendations for action in the report by Turley Associates, the consultant commissioned by the district council to complete the town's design appraisal.

Mrs Miranda added: “In these very challenging times, some creativity and flexibility is needed if the enhancement programme is to continue.

“Removing the hedging around the green would be quick and inexpensive but a very noticeable way of taking Thatcham town centre forward.”

Mayor Lee Dillon said that the idea was a good way to make sure that the residents knew that, even though funding from the district council had been frozen, work was still going on.

Some members raised concerns that opening up the green would be less safe for pedestrians who could step out on to the road.

However, Mr Dillon said that it had been proven in other areas that if street furniture were taken away, drivers were more aware and safer.

He added: “The town council is in favour of making improvements to Broadway Green in the next financial year, subject to public consultation.”

Plans for the works will now be drawn up and members of the public will get a chance to view and comment on them.

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