Scaffold at bars may disappear in spring

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Scaffolding could be moved to free up traffic in Bridge Street, in Northampton town centre, by March, a council leader has said.

The scaffolding has been there while work is carried out to restore the Fat Cats andBalloon bars inside the former Angel Hotel, which was gutted by an accidental fire in January 2012.

Protective hoarding is jutting in to the road causing it to be designated one way only.

After a meeting with businesses and the ex-hotel’s representatives, Guildhall leader David Mackintosh (Con, Ecton Brook) said survey work was about to get underway.

He said: “I think the scaffolding could be moved back a bit in two to three months’ time and allow the street to be opened up.

“We want to get Balloon bar opened as quickly as possible and it is estimated Fat Cats itself could be opened by Christmas 2013.

“We have pledged to deal with all paperwork that comes to us about redevelopment work as quickly as possible.

“This is a priority for us.”

Shopowners have said they want Bridge Street to be accessible from both ends to maximise customers.

Councillor Mackintosh said once the highway was reopened “a debate could take place” about making the street two-way again.