Revamp for Haverhill’s Strasbourg Square

Strasbourg Square
Strasbourg Square

A dilapidated Haverhill square is in for a new look in the new year.

Strasbourg Square is set for a £35,000 revamp which will see the area improved with new trees, benches and measures to curb anti-social behaviour.

The scheme is being paid for by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Plans to update and repair the square were met with the unanimous approval of councillors at a Haverhill Area Working Party meeting on December 11.

The scheme, which had been pushed for by the late councillor, Gordon Cox, will help to go some way towards the rejuvenation of the area.

Cllr Pat Hanlon said: “This is fantastic. We’ve been waiting for a long time.”

Damien Parker, the parks manager for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, noted that, over the years, the roots of trees in the square had damaged the paving.

Cllr Tony Brown thought this work should be done as a matter of urgency.

“Would it be possible to get the trees cut down as soon as possible?” he said.

New, ornamental birch trees were proposed as a replacement.

Cllr Brown also brought up the idea of replacement benches and seating for the square and disabled access.

Re-development of the derelict Vixen pub was also discussed, with Cllr Maureen Byrne suggesting a compulsory purchase order could be made on the building to ensure it would not be allowed to decay further.

“We’ve still got that absolute eye sore of a building,” she said. “It’s detrimental to the whole place.”

There were also calls for better street-lighting and more CCTV in the area within range of the seating areas to cut down on anti-social behaviour near to the residential parts of the square.

Cllr Anne Gower welcomed the plans and spoke of her sadness that Cllr Cox, who died in September 2014, would not see them realised.

“I can’t help but think that we haven’t got Cllr Cox feeding into this decision,” said Cllr Gower. “It seems really odd.”

Cllr Gower agreed that the re-paving of the square was a priority, but asked about local community facilities in the square, such as the On Track centre, and how they fitted into the regeneration plans.

The future of the On Track centre and other children’s services in the town, is due to be decided by Suffolk County Council on January 27.