New plans aimed at breathing new life into Chippenham town centre have been revealed.

Under a scheme labelled One Plan, the 1960s gate and weir on the River Avon could be replaced, a new river park is in the pipeline, historic buildings in the town would be refurbished and there are promised improvements to open spaces.

Residents of Chippenham will be able to have their say on the scheme.

Consultation will begin on Tuesday, April 25 and everyone will be able to submit comments for consideration.

The scheme being overseen by Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We want to replace the sluice gate and weir in the town centre. It was all constructed in the 1960s. It’s at the end of its life.”

Three different possible changes to the gate and weir have been proposed.

The first is to replace it all with a more modern gate and weir.  

The second is to get rid of it although this might lead to much lower water levels in the summer - which might be a problem for anyone who enjoys using the river for water sports.

The third is to replace the weir with many small weirs.

A new river park is also proposed to run through the town centre and the footbridge across the gate and weir would be be replaced and made wider too.

Spaces beside the waterline will be made more friendly to wildlife.

Chippenham resident and fisherman Michael Norris said: “Smaller weirs I’d say is the way. It’s more environmentally friendly than when you’ve got it blocked off the way it is. I don’t like the weir myself. I reckon it ruins this river.

"I like Chippenham because it’s got a lot going for it but it does need a bit of a spruce.”

Another resident, Amelia Hanratty, said: “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, that’s what I think.”

It is hoped construction will begin in 2025.

The project hopes to improve parking, shopfronts, historic buildings and open spaces.

But when questioned which historic buildings might be improved and how exactly, major project leader for Wiltshire Council David Milton said he did not have any specific ideas yet.

When asked in detail which open spaces might be improved and how, the Environment Agency representative responded and only referred back to improvements for spaces around the river.  

Ms Donelan said the money for the scheme could be found from a mix of government, council and private funding.