Essex town gets its new block-paved heart
PUBLISHED: 08:09 07 October 2010
A PROJECT that started life nearly 20 years ago has been completed and has given Great Dunmow a 'new heart', according to councillors.
The £100,000 new town square next to the Co-op superstore was officially opened by Mayor Wendy Barron and project manager John Bosworth on Saturday afternoon.
The Dunmow Majorettes were invited along to perform and a solitary piper also marked the occasion watched by over 100 people.
Cllr Barron has overseen the final stages of the project as mayor along with town clerk Caroline Fuller. They took over from a host of previous mayors and the previous town clerk Owen Wilson, who were also present at the unveiling.
“It was a privilege to open the square along with John Bosworth,” said Cllr Barron. “The Dunmow Majorettes did a splendid display, and the loan piper added his unique tones.
“Again the people of Dunmow turned out in numbers to witness this unique event with many dignitaries all involved in the planning and construction of this now very pleasant area for everyone to enjoy.
“Our town slogan May Dunmow Prosper appears to be being upheld.”
It was a proud moment the town council which has been beavering away over the last two years to bring the plans to fruition.
However some quarters of the public have criticised the project and are disappointed at the outcome. Complaints have been written to the Dunmow Broadcast about the overall price, the design and the layout.
Shopkeepers have also added their concerns over shifting the centre of town to a new location, away from the High Street and Market Place.
But the council went ahead because the only other option open when it came to the crunch two years ago was just to have a normal road for delivery lorries and car park traffic to roll through.
Speaking at an annual town meeting two years ago – when the final plans were put before the public – Owen Wilson described the area as ugly and unattractive.
He said the square was “the only way to guarantee that the White Street area stays nice for the public.”
And added: “We only have one opportunity to get this because once the developers leave finish the housing project the chance will be gone.”
The square has been reliant on housing developers Taylor Wimpey putting up cash.
As part of the agreement to allow new flats and homes to be built on the previous Dunmow Inn and Dunmow bowls club site, it agreed to build the library and the square.
Senior engineer for Taylor Wimpey Derek Misson said: “It looks absolutely fantastic, and is a wonderful example of how local authorities, businesses and residents can work hand-in-hand to create something special to make the whole community proud.
“Taylor Wimpey has contributed to the project by helping to build the new road through the centre of the square, as part of our nearby The Mews at White Street new homes development.
“It is a privilege to have been involved in such a magnificent scheme and I am delighted to be a part of these opening celebrations. The new square has enhanced this town significantly and will benefit local people for generations to come.”
What the project means:
- White Street is now permanently closed for traffic from the High Street.
- The area between the library and the Co-Op is NOT for parking and is pedestrianised.
- There is seating and plants to enjoy and a Christmas tree for the festive season.
- A possible fountain in future after an underground water pipe was put in.
- A road does run through the centre of the square, but it is only for access.
- Dunmow has a town square for the first time in its history.
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