A DECISION on the future shape of Newton Abbot town centre is likely to be made next week.

Devon County Council’s cabinet is due to meet on Wednesday 12 July and is expected to make a decision on the controversial Queen Street traffic plans. Teignbridge Council’s executive committee is also due to meet next week to hear a report about its progress.

Traffic orders have already been signed off to enable the Queen Street scheme to go ahead despite strong local objections.

The Teignbridge Highways and Traffic Orders Committee approved the plans last month, including a 20mph speed limit, new waiting, parking and loading restrictions and closing off several roads to anything other than through traffic.

Council officers say widening pavements and reducing on-street parking by 55 per cent will enhance the town centre. The work would be supported by the Government’s Future High Streets Fund, designed to enable economic recovery.

Newton Abbot Town Council resisted plans to reduce parking and banish most traffic from Queen Street, saying it is worried about the impact on shops and businesses.

And councillors from the South Devon Alliance, who previously undertook a survey that found two thirds of businesses were opposed to the scheme, spoke out against the proposals.

However, the majority of members voted in favour of the scheme – and it now needs a sign-off from Devon County Council’s cabinet before construction can go ahead.

The scheme will also be considered by members of the Teignbridge executive next Monday, as part of a regular update from officers on the progress of the multi-million-pound revamp of the town centre.

They will also hear the latest on plans for a four-screen cinema in the town centre along with plans to redevelop the Market Hall and the area around the Alexandra Theatre.

A planning application has been submitted for the cinema, and will be considered soon. Plans for the Market Hall are being developed and a planning application is being prepared.

The application is due to be submitted later this year.