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Market Place revamp delayed until new year

MELKSHAM Market Place will now be redeveloped in the new year after fears of interrupting the Christmas lights saw the work pushed back to 2017.

The work, previously expected to start in spring this year, will include resurfacing the entire area outside the Town Hall.

The decision to postpone came after  the Melksham Christmas Lights team and the town council raised concerns that if the work overran it would put the town’s beloved festive display in jeopardy.

Putting up the lights and giant Christmas tree takes all year to organise, with the labouring work starting around September.

Organiser Paul Weymouth said, “It’s good news that there won’t be a clash but it would’ve been nice to have the new Market Place done in time for the lights.

“I think both the councils were concerned that work would collide with us setting up the Christmas lights. I wasn’t too worried but it will definitely be easier not having to contend with the contractors.

“It would have made it much harder for us to get the job done; we’re up against it as it is.

“I’m grateful they took us into consideration but would have preferred it if they’d started already and got on with the job.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said, “We wanted to ensure there was no chance of any disruption to the popular Melksham Christmas lights switch-on, so we are programming the Market Place improvement works to take place in the new year – the schedule is currently being finalised.”

The new Market Place, which was scaled back to save money for the campus project, will be divided into a pedestrian market area, campus access road, taxi rank, and disabled parking. The paved pedestrian area will start outside the Town Hall and stretch north to Lloyds Bank.