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Town Square Design Revealed

Submitted on 21 December 2016

North Somerset Council have published the following press release :

Work to transform a key public space in the heart of Weston-super-Mare town centre is due to start in early January.
North Somerset Council has commissioned Building Design Partnership (BDP), a major international practice of architects and designers, to enhance Weston Town Square and the Italian Gardens, a prominent but under-used town centre space.
BDP's innovative outline design enhances pedestrian links between the square, seafront and High Street, while maximising the flexibility of the space to accommodate a wide variety of events and festivals.
The draft design shows an attractive and inviting continental-style square, which encourages activity throughout the year. Features, such as state-of-the-art lighting, will be incorporated into the design to create a stimulating, safe and accessible environment for all.
The existing plane trees in the High Street and Italian Gardens will remain and pine trees and Mediterranean-style planting will be added.
Local business owners and key stakeholders have already been consulted on the design and will continue to be involved as the plans are developed.
Michael Sanders, joint landlord of the Imperial in South Parade, said: "This project to enhance the Town Square will be a huge benefit to both the people of Weston and businesses in the area.
"It has been cleverly designed with the utmost thought to the heritage of the existing Italian Gardens and the town. It will help meet the needs of a modern town centre, providing an open safe place for both young and old, and is a welcome step towards regenerating the Town Square area."
Alongside other major town centre projects, which include the redevelopment of Dolphin Square and Weston College’s development of a Law and Professional Services Academy at the Winter Gardens, the improvement of the Town Square area will add further momentum to the regeneration of the town as a vibrant place to live, with a thriving and diverse leisure offer.
Leader of North Somerset Council, Cllr Nigel Ashton, said: "We are moving at pace to maximise an opportunity to secure external funding and I am delighted with the progress being made to improve this important and much-loved public space. Transforming this key site is another positive step in the ambitious programme of regeneration which is happening across the town centre."
The Town Square improvement project will take place in phases, starting with the main square on Tuesday 3 January when work to clear the site will begin.
The council is currently bidding for a grant from the Local Enterprise Partnership to help fund the scheme.
Anyone with any comments about the plans for the Town Square can contact
An artist’s impression of what the transformed Town Square may look like is attached. While this portrays the main features of the scheme, there may be changes as the design is finalised.


The Civic Society says:

Press Release for Town Square Plan

The Civic Society welcomes the initiative taken by North Somerset Council to move so quickly to develop a proposal to revitalise the Italian Gardens and the Town Square.

We were very pleased to be invited to send representatives to a stakeholder meeting with BDP, the landscaping consultants, where the problems and possible solution for the area were brainstormed.

The speed in which such an imaginative scheme has been designed has been impressive.

The retention of elements of the walling that have been moved from the current Italian Gardens is welcomed as is the proposed use of some of the existing trees as well as new trees and shrubs. Hopefully those trees retained will include the mature black pines along the present western boundary

It is unfortunate that the well-established trees adjacent to South Parade are to be lost but the opening up of the square and the provision of a pedestrian route is understood.

It is noted that Cllr. Peter Bryant has approved £300,000 for an advance order of quality paving which hopefully will  be the same high quality granite employed on the new promenade. The use of such paving will revitalise the current tired and bleak hard areas.

The proposed raised stage and water feature, in Phase 2 of the development, will ensure the area is used and more welcoming especially at night with the proposed lighting.

This is a wonderful boost to the regeneration of the Town Centre.   

© 2018 Weston-super-Mare Civic Society. Affiliated to Civic Voice. Registered Charity No. 266344
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