BRENTWOOD: Residents doubt value of £6m High Street improvements
THESE first impressions of Brentwood's £6million High Street improvement scheme have left some residents struggling to spot the difference.
The long-awaited transformation of Brentwood town centre has received mixed opinions after the draft artistic impressions were released this week.
Some labelled the project a waste of money while others declared it a facelift Brentwood town centre has long been waiting for.
Carol Doble, 67, from Masefield Court, Warley, said: "There are far more deserving causes to spend £6million on quite frankly.
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"There is no need to tart the High Street up for goodness sake, not with that amount of money.
"When people are struggling, that is a sheer waste."
However Lorraine Kelly, 57, from Woodman Road, Warley, said: "We definitely need a facelift in Brentwood and more shops to encourage people to spend more in the town rather than going to Lakeside and other places.
"Sometimes you can come here on a Saturday afternoon and it can look like a ghost town. I think it will be absolutely brilliant."
The improvement scheme is picking up pace. The construction of a left-hand slip road and filter lane at the junction of Weald Road will get underway this month.
It's expected to take about six weeks. Contractors will then move to the main High Street improvements, scheduled between July and November.
In addition to the repaving and road works pictured, the town will benefit from new street furniture and refurbishments to shop fronts.
Another resident, Liza Wright, 45, from Wash Road, Hutton, welcomed the much-needed slip road junction but added: "It looks better but it is an awful lot of money.
"In fact it doesn't look that different. I would rather they spent the money elsewhere."
Christine Dodge, 40, from South Drive, Warley, said: "It is going to be an improvement of mobility for people in wheelchairs and people with buggies but it is not deeply attractive.
"It is an awful lot of money but the pavements we have at the moment are very shoddy."
In contrast, Marie Tredget, 75, from Wellesley Road, Brentwood, said: "It would be rather nice if it all comes off. Brentwood badly needs this."
Residents can keep up-to-date with the latest on the improvement scheme at www.brentwoodhighstreet.co.uk
Chairman of the council's highways panel, Cllr Louise McKinlay, said: "As the scheme develops, so will the website, giving everyone the opportunity to discover the range of improvements destined for Brentwood town centre."