PEOPLE living in Swindon fear ambitious new plans to liven up Canal Walk fear will make the town centre too noisy at night.

It was revealed on Monday that FI Real Estate Management – owners of The Brunel shopping centre – is behind a project to transform the tired strip of shops into a European-style plaza of restaurants and bars.

Swindon Borough Council has praised the scheme but has yet to approve it.

When the Adver visited the town centre to ask shoppers for their views, Tracy Hinton, 27, said: “I’m not too sure about bars because depending on what time they open until you can get some real trouble in town with bars.

“We live in Old Town and it gets real rowdy up there with all the bars open.”

With stores such as Argos, Dorothy Perkins and Burtons all set to close their doors in the coming months, some remain worried about the growing number of nightspots. It was suggested that some living in Swindon would rather spend their weekends shopping at Cabot Circus in Bristol or Birmingham’s Bullring.

There is also concern that teenagers are hanging around the shopping area as they haven’t got much else to do.

Richard May thought young people should be factored into any plans for the town centre. “There’s nothing for teenagers to keep them out of trouble," he said. "I do think if a couple of youth clubs were opened it would give them something more to do rather than just hang around town outside McDonald’s on their bikes and skateboards.”

Shoppers want to see more parks and greenery for families, rather than plans to grow the nightlife and open more places to eat. Charlie Wood, 24, said: “They should concentrate on building up more green areas for the kids and teenagers. Like parks and fields and things like that. I guess it would encourage families to come out, to do physical activity.”

The news also sparked plenty of debate on the Adver’s Facebook page, with Zoe Lesley Fox commenting: “We need more places to visit, nice grassy areas, educational activities and places for older people. The town’s a dump.”

Not everybody is against the idea of new bars and restaurants, with some people saying they would like to see the return of Gourmet Kitchen Burger or another Burger King or TGI Friday’s.

But Glenys Weaver commented: “We do not need more restaurants, we need shops. Swindon needs to attract more visitors.”