Plans which could see a radical overhaul of a town centre, which would further reduce traffic and improve the street scene, have gone on display to the public.
The proposals would affect mostly pedestrianised parts of Gold Street, High Street, Lower Street and Meadow Road in Kettering.
Among the most significant changes proposed is the removal of the clock in the town centre, possibly to be replaced by a raised platform with room for more market stalls and a water feature.
Kettering Council hopes the plans will encourage a cafe culture in the town centre, with proposals for outdoor tables near coffee shops and improved seating also made.
Cllr Derek Zanger, the council’s portfolio holder for town centres, encouraged people to get involved in the consultation.
An online consultation opened this week, with a consultation shop in Gold Street due to open on Friday, March 1.
He said: “It’s something that’s been thought about over a long period of time because people have said they want to improve the town centre.”
Cllr Zanger said the ideas were creative and would make the town centre a welcoming place for visitors.
The council also wants to make it easier to host more events and markets in the streets.
A number of plans have been submitted for different sections of the town centre.
They include outdoor dining spaces on Lower Street, near the Post Office, shaded by newly planted trees, and increased disabled parking capacity.
There are four options for the town square, all of which have been designed to take into account the slope leading down from Gold Street.
They include plans for greenery and a water feature and a raised platform with space for a cafe underneath. All have been designed to increase the area available for market stalls.
All the published plans also include much-changed street lighting.
How the consultation works
The public consultation will run until March 20 and will include discussions with businesses and other stakeholders in the town.
The Gold Street consultation shop opens on March 1, with the online version already open at http://consult.kettering.gov.uk/portal.
As well as images like the one above, 3D models of the new proposals will also be available.
A further consultation, predicted to last four weeks, will take place after the preferred designs are established, but will not take place before the county council elections in May.