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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 October 2005, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Views sought over Dartford plans
Dartford High Street
A massive regeneration scheme is planned for the centre of Dartford
Public consultation on the planned regeneration of Dartford town centre in north Kent is under way, with roadshows taking place over the next week.

The borough council has government backing of more than 20m and it aims to have created a "more vibrant" town by 2015.

The council said the centre of Dartford had been in decline, losing high street shops and becoming an unfriendly place.

Consultations are taking place at the Priory and Orchards shopping centres.

The public will have a chance to give their views at both locations on 6 and 8 October.

'Edwardian elegance'

People can also make their views known via the internet, e-mail or post.

Deputy leader, Councillor Jeremy Kite, said: "It's 30 years of a slow spiral into decline and we've lost a bit of direction.

"It's time for Dartford to restore itself as a proud Kent town."

The council said initial ideas included creating a new town square, improving the Orchard Theatre, more pedestrian walkways along the River Darent, and "restoring the Edwardian elegance of Central Park".

"We're trying very hard to start with a blank sheet of paper but we have started with some ideas," said Mr Kite.

"We've given people questions about the town as it currently stands and asked them to provide, entirely freely, their views."

Separate plans to put a two-lane road through Central Park, and build homes and a Tesco superstore in nearby Lowfield Street, have been called in for public inquiry by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.


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