A STRETCH of Andover town centre will become pedestrianised at the start of ‘once-in-a-generation’ rejuvenation bid, if a new plan is given the green light.

Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) has lodged a planning application for the £1.2m Town Mills Riverside project, which will see the creation of a new park by the River Anton.

Vehicles will be rerouted as the proposals are to block traffic on Town Mills. Instead those looking to use Town Mills Car Park will enter and exit via a new junction off Western Avenue.

A footpath and cycleway will be put in place, with new paved seating spaces added along the riverside, as well as a freestanding boardwalk over the river.

The application is for consent to make these ideas a reality.

The council says by removing the current tarmac, the pathway will recreate the yard “that the Town Mill would have utilised in its working life as a mill”.

TVBC leader, Councillor Phil North said: “The planning application is a major milestone for this exciting project, which will see this area completely revitalised.

“The Town Mills Riverside scheme also marks the start of the once-in-a-generation opportunity to redevelop the town centre as a whole.

“Throughout the extensive Andover Vision consultation process, the single most important issue people raised was making the most of the river in the town centre.

“The only viable location to do this was at Town Mills.

“It was on the basis of this feedback and the outcomes of Hampshire County Council’s (HCC) initial consultation into enhancing the pedestrian route through this area, that residents and stakeholders said they wanted a more ambitious scheme.”

The project will not be exclusive to Town Mills as it is planned work will also be carried out to the pocket park in Waterloo Court. “to link the town’s green assets together and create an inviting place for all town users to go”.

New seating will also be installed.

However, the plan comes at a cost to motorists as there will be a loss of spaces in the Town Mills Car Park, with number of bays cut from 59 to 36, as HCC will use a section to create the new junction off Western Avenue, but the council say that this will not impact visitors as there are around 2,000 available spaces in the town.

There will be no loss of disabled parking spaces.

Funding for the scheme has come from developer contributions between HCC’s market town fund and TVBC, and the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership.

Work on the project is anticipated to begin in early 2020, should planning consent be granted.