PLANS are beginning to emerge that would see much of Ringwood’s town centre improved for pedestrians.

The town council’s recreation, leisure and open spaces committee heard from the Market Place Improvement Working Party of the extensive plans that would see vast areas enhanced in a bid to increase footfall throughout the market town.

Part of the proposals include works at the parish church which is currently looking at providing a link between the Furlong Shopping Centre and the church by introducing a walk through.

The proposal would include installing wheelchair access to the church from its disabled parking bays at the front of the church and opening the west door.

At the rear of the church, which backs onto the soon-to-be-widened A31, it has been suggested to install an acoustic fence to block the noise of traffic and cover the fence with trees.

At present the land is not used by the public but it is hoped that this will encourage people to use it.

There are also long-term plans to create a riverside walk after the town council acquired land adjoining the Millstream.

There were also plans to extend the footpath at The Bickerley from the access to the Mill House flats to the Danny Cracknell Pocket Park.

Hampshire County Council had even agreed to funding for the scheme.

However, despite considerable local support there was one objection to the order which would have led to a public inquiry - the costs of which would have had to be covered by the council.

In a report provided to the committee, it states: “Until such time as the previous objector indicates that he would not object again it is unlikely that it will be possible for the scheme to proceed.

“The footpath is clearly needed and it is unfortunate that it can be held up on the basis of one objection.”