During the height of lockdown, it was always a pleasure to get out of the house and find peace in your daily exercise.

However, it's unlikely that you would have picked Western Avenue as the place to do this, with the gyratory road not making the most picturesque of settings.

However, Test Valley Borough Council intend to tear the road away, and reveal the beauty of the River Anton flowing underneath.

The River Anton Quarter intends to provide green space in the heart of Andover, by taking up the space of a much reduced Western Avenue.

With the road reduced to just two lanes, the river will become the heart of the area, with proposed features like stepping stones allowing the public to get in touch with nature.

The new park will run all the way from the Town Mills riverside park  up to Andover College with open spaces for people to relax and play. 

There will also be improved links to the train station, with the current underpass replaced with a road crossing over Western Avenue.

Wayne Hemingway of HemingwayDesign, who helped produce the plans, said: “We knew from the very beginning that we wanted to be a part of the project for one reason in particular: potential. Andover is lucky enough to have it in spades. And thanks to that invaluable asset, and a local community that has said throughout the process that it is really up for change, we have been able to create exciting, future facing, deliverable ideas.

“Town centres are evolving and Covid-19, has accelerated this shift in focus. Andover has so many assets that allow it benefit from this evolution, including its historic streets and compact layout. The potential to make more of its waterways and green spaces can allow the town to become more rounded as a place to socialise, enjoy leisure, live, work and of course shop. Independent businesses can enjoy the societal shift that the UK is undergoing and co-exist with well know high street names, nestled alongside public services, education and community facilities, eateries, homes, offices and green spaces. Andover town centre can have its cake and eat it.”

For more details of the plans, click here.