A MAJOR roundabout in Colchester could be removed and replaced by a crossroad layout under extensive regeneration plans.

The proposals would overhaul St Botolph’s Circus which has been earmarked for improvements for decades.

The roundabout acts as a crucial gateway into the city centre and sees the meeting of Southway with St Botolph’s Street, Mersea Road and Magdalen Street.

In January, Colchester Council and Essex County Council were awarded £19.6 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to begin works.

Gazette: Dramatic change - an artist's impression of the public realm spaceDramatic change - an artist's impression of the public realm space (Image: Essex County Council / Colchester Council)

Gazette: Comparison - St Botolph's roundabout as it is nowComparison - St Botolph's roundabout as it is now (Image: Newsquest)

The authorities are now working on delivering a joint masterplan to regenerate St Botolph’s and the wider city centre.

Blueprints published in a new public consultation show the roundabout and its underpass will be dismantled and replaced by a traffic light-controlled crossroad layout.

Some of the road will be reclaimed, enabling a pedestrian plaza and green spaces to be put in place.

Masterplan documents reveal these new spaces will allow opportunities for pop-up shops, seating, street art and further development.

Gazette: Layout - the proposed crossroad layoutLayout - the proposed crossroad layout (Image: Essex County Council / Colchester Council)

“In doing so, we would significantly improve the look and feel of a key gateway to the city and support its heritage and economy,” reads a planning statement.

Segregated cycle paths and walkways are also planned, encouraging people to take a greener approach to travelling to the city centre.

The masterplan adds: “And the removal of the unattractive and intimidating subways will help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the area and help improve accessibility.

“The area is a hot-spot for anti-social behaviour and this regeneration offers the opportunity to design out crime.”

Gazette: Modern - pedestrian plazas will be made as parts of the roads are reclaimedModern - pedestrian plazas will be made as parts of the roads are reclaimed (Image: Essex County Council / Colchester Council)

Planning chiefs hope the fresh layout will benefit those attending Colchester Magistrates’ Court and Colchester Town railway station.

They said improving links between the latter and the city’s bus station will also help to drive in more visitors and ease awkward bus routes.

Landscape planting has been proposed to enhance air quality, shade provision and biodiversity in the area.

Semi-mature trees will be planted with council bosses vowing to not reduce the number of trees in the area.

You can have your say on the plans by visiting the consultation at bit.ly/46g3YuB.