Town centre improvement works take crucial step forward

Buildings along a road with cars and people walking - Image

A contractor has been appointed to carry out improvement works to Halstead and Witham town centres which are due to start later this year.

The regeneration project, funded by Braintree District Council, will deliver a series of improvements to both town centres, including refurbishment of street furniture and street lighting, new cycle parking, road signage, lighting, as well as replacement or maintenance of litter bins, benches and bollards - all to create a more attractive, functional environment and improve the pedestrian journey. 

The improvements follow a number of consultation events and engagement with partners and stakeholders, including the town councils. Further engagement, particularly with High Street businesses, will take place prior to the works starting.

Braintree District Council will be investing £600,000 on the physical improvement works, which includes contributions from Section 106 funding.

Halstead and Witham town centres will also benefit from new cycle parking at key entrance points to the main high street facilities, supporting Braintree District Council’s aims to improve cycling facilities across the district as part of its cycling strategy.

Councillor Frankie Ricci, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Inward Investment at Braintree District Council, said: “It is great news we have now appointed a contractor to move forward with delivering the improvements to both Halstead and Witham town centres. This investment means we can make much-needed refurbishments and infrastructure upgrades for the benefit of everyone – whether they live or work there, visit, or own a business.”

A spokesperson for Halstead Town Council, said: “Halstead Town Council is delighted to hear that a contractor has been appointed to carry out the town centre improvement works for Halstead. The Town Council has been working closely with Braintree District Council over the past few years to achieve movement forward on this project and is delighted that the town is likely to see the improvements completed within 2023. These improvements cover both issues of safety and of aesthetics and will be welcomed by the residents of Halstead.”

Councillor Phil Barlow, Leader of Witham Town Council, said: “This project is a long-awaited and vital step forward to hopefully breathe new life into the heart of the town. Witham, like many historic towns, has faced the challenges of changing times and evolving needs. Recognising the pressing need for rejuvenation, the proposed regeneration works come as a timely response to enhance the overall vibrancy and functionality of the area. We are hopeful the no-right turn into Maldon Road plans will be approved which the council has long been calling for, as we believe it will ease congestion for residents when travelling through Newland Street. This will be decided by Essex County Council as the highway authority.”

The works are planned to begin in August/September for Halstead and Witham. More details will be communicated to residents by Braintree District Council closer to the time once schedules have been confirmed.

Braintree District Council will work with Essex County Council, as the highway authority and the owners of the land, during the process.

Published: 30th May 2023