by Sam Lennon
Plans for major enhancements in Tenterden High Street have been voted through.
Councillors on the joint transportation board approved work budgeted to cost £506,000 to create new signposts and railings and provide a new paved forecourt for the town hall.
The Tenterden Improved project is to help the town enhance its “Jewel of the Weald” image.
Ward councillor and Ashford council leader Paul Clokie told fellow councillors: “There has been overwhelming public support for this.
“The town hall will now stand out without cars parked in front of it. It will make the town more attractive to tourists.”
The three improvements are:
The location of 10 fingerposts to guide people to key attractions such as the Kent and East Sussex Railway and town museum.
Proposals also include the replacement of brown traffic signs.
It also involves putting up brown tourist gateway signs on the town’s approaches to highlight its attractions and guide visiting drivers. Cost are expected to be well within the £42,000 budget.
New railings at East Cross, at the corner of Recreation Ground Road and the High Street. The existing guard rails will be replaced by higher quality ones, which will feature the town’s crest. Estimated cost is £12,000.
Changed paving for the town hall. The paved area will be taken up to and including the present bus stop area.
This is also to improve movement and safety for pedestrians and provide more space for market stalls. This is costed at £79,000.
The joint Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council committee heard that the town hall scheme would mean losing eight parking spaces.
They would be replaced with only five, two outside WH Smith and two across the road in the former taxi rank.
But 85 per cent of respondents in a public consultation supported it, because of the visual appeal it would provide.
The Tenterden Improved project is funded by groups such as SEEDA (South East England Development Agency), Tenterden Projects Group, Tenterden Town Council and Ashford Borough Council.