Work starts on £1.5m town centre revamp
WORK is about to start on giving the heart of Dawlish a new look.
The £1.5million regeneration of Dawlish Strand will get underway on Monday.
The scheme, which is a joint initiative between Devon County Council, Teignbridge Council and Dawlish Town Council, has been developed during the past two-and-a-half years, with two public consultations held to help shape the layout.
The footpath outside shops on the north side of the street will be widened and re-paved in natural Yorkstone slabs and new granite kerbs will be installed.
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Parking and loading bays will also be added on this side of the road.
The existing stone wall between The Strand and The Lawn will also be removed to integrate the two areas and a new footway will be created adjacent to The Lawn on the south side of the street.
Raised crossing points will be provided throughout the street as a traffic calming measure and to create a crossing for pedestrians. The road will be reconstructed as part of the work and new street furniture will be installed.
Teignbridge and Dawlish councils will also be re-grading the bank between The Strand and The Lawn and demolishing the existing concrete shelter facing the bowling green.
The scheme has also been coordinated to allow BT Open Reach, Wales and West Utilities, Western Power Distribution and South West Water to carry out work at the same time.
The majority of the work will be carried out with the road open to traffic, but it will be closed from January 28 to February 10 for a South West Water mains diversion.
There will be another closure planned from Monday, April 15, to April 28 for the reconstruction of the road.
Cllr Stuart Hughes, the county council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "A lot of work has gone into the development of this scheme and we have ensured it combines the work of our partners at Teignbridge Council and Dawlish Town Council, to provide a significant saving to the public purse."
Cllr John Clatworthy, deputy leader of the county council and county councillor for Dawlish, said: "This is an important investment for the economy of Dawlish and consultation has been key to this scheme."
Teignbridge Council leader Jeremy Christophers said: "Working together with lots of input from local people helps achieve the best results for residents, visitors and businesses."
Dawlish Chamber of Trade has vowed to keep shops and businesses open.
David Force, chairman of the Dawlish Chamber of Trade, said: "Dawlish town centre has not been shopper friendly or car-friendly for many years and we see this as a terrific opportunity to reverse the decline we have seen in recent times."