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Water fountains, mood lighting and a wall of plants to be installed in Ilford town centre

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Residents have been eager to learn how Ilford town centre will look after it receives a makeover.

Plans include mood lighting, floor projections, jet fountains and a planter wall.

The transformation is expected to be finished by late 2020 and will be completed in a series of stages.

Phase one of eight is already under way in Chadwick Road and builders are currently laying granite flooring.

“We are doing it in stages and it gives us an opportunity to test it to make sure the designs work for people who use the town centre,” said Kara Johnson, project officer on the regeneration team.

The team are even doing science experiments to make sure that the floor in the town centre will be hard wearing.

They are in the process of testing three different sealants and are dousing samples in “coke, milkshake and bird excrement” to see which has the best longevity.

Martin Moran, site manger at Chadwick Road, has lived in the area for the last 30 years and has a personal as well as professional interest in the rejuvenation plans.

He said: “It is a slow process and we have to lay each one down one at a time as once they are all down, you can’t get them up.

“The road is on a slope and rain water will drain into the plants which will reduce flash flooding, help the water table and benefit the environment.”

The fountains set to be installed along the high street will have sensors that will adjust according to wind pressure, and the council are considering what colours and art work could be projected onto the floor.

The second phase will focus on the Griggs Approach underpass and will include a light installation, public art and planting scheme.

“Ilford is an incredible place and we looking at how people interact in the space and why they interact in space,” said Mr Clark.

Ms Johnson added: “It is a massive challenge but we hope to activate the space”.

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