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Paving way for piazza

Posted on June 30 2017 at 3:31:46

Piazza idea

Plans for a Piazza dell’Alvechurch could be resurrected as the village’s Neighbourhood Plan nears fruition.

The idea of a continental-style, pedestrian-only square was first raised at the now-defunct Village Improvements Committee 17 years ago.

There was a lot of interest at the time and one resident, David Barton, produced an impression of how it might look (above).

Despite having backing from the then head of highways, the ambitious idea of handing the village centre back to pedestrians never materialised.

Now it is back on the agenda as the long-awaited Alvechurch Neighbourhood Plan is being readied for public consultation.

Such plans, developed by local people, are adopted by the local authority and guide development decisions.

Coun Adrian Smith, of the plan steering group, told parish councillors: “We have sent our final plan to Bromsgrove and Worcester councils and are just waiting for them to come back with their suggestions.”

The plan will then be put out for three days of public consultation, with a two-day display at Alvechurch Village Hall.

Coun John Cypher, another plan steering group member, told councillors that a survey at the Picnic in the Park last month had brought some interesting results.

Villagers were concerned by the number of empty shops in the village centre, but recognised the value of the sense of community evident in Alvechurch.

A majority of those who filled in the survey were in favour of part-pedestrianisation of the village centre, said Coun Cypher.

“So the piazza lives!” he added.

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