Three-week delay for Jubilee Square

New-look square will not be ready for diamond jubilee celebrations.

REFURBISHMENT of Bideford’s Jubilee Square will not be finished in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, as expected.

The project was due to be completed by May 31 but has stalled due to problems with the delivery of paving materials from Italy, causing a delay of around three weeks.

The project will now be completed with York stone, instead of a purple-red-coloured rock called porphyry.

A spokesman for Devon County Council, which is managing the build on behalf of Torridge District Council, said: “The paving materials were ordered in early March and our supplier provided a delivery date for the end of April.

“Our material supplier has since advised us that the anticipated lead in time was incorrect and the delivery date has been delayed.”

The spokesman said improvements to the adjoining Manor Car Park had been accelerated and would now be finished by Monday, May 21, two weeks ahead of schedule.

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Councillor Roger Johnson, the district council’s lead member for economy, said the council was ‘disappointed’ by the delay.

He said: “The net effect is that the project will not be completed in time for the diamond jubilee and for this we sincerely apologise.

“However, as new materials have now been sourced, we will be doing our utmost to progress the square towards a completion prior to the jubilee.”

The project, which is funded jointly by Torridge District Council, Bideford Town Council, Bideford Bridge Trust, Devon County Council and Leader 4, has also caused delivery disruptions for some local businesses.

Peter Quincey, the district council’s senior regeneration project manager, said: “There has been some disruption to businesses during the improvement works at Manor Car Park and Jubilee Square, however, access is still available to businesses in the locality.

“Once the work is completed access for deliveries will be improved, albeit slightly altered, due to the new paving levels and improved layout.”

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