Friday, July 18, 2014

Colwyn Bay:- Masterplan criticised by Design Commission for Wales

Colwyn Bay: Masterplan criticised by Design Commission for Wales

The champion for good design says it has 'profound concerns' about the long-term plan for the town

Station Road, Colwyn Bay now
A report on the Colwyn Bay Masterplan by the Design Commission for Wales has labelled its current use as “questionable”, adding that the public has “profound concerns” about it.
In a report leaked to the Daily Post the Design Commission for Wales (DCW) criticises the Masterplan, which was approved by Conwy County Council in 2010.
DCW was brought in by Conwy Council to assist the review of Colwyn Bay town centre.
This was announced in April after officers admitted the plans for the town centre, including an expansion of the Bay View Centre, were “unlikely”.
DCW conducted a workshop on April 30 with local business owners and stakeholders.
A feedback report from the consultation has picked several faults in the original masterplan. The DCW says: “We can’t identify evidence of market testing of the plan during its evolution or since. The plan identifies the need for new partnerships. We’re not sure how this has been taken forward.
“The masterplan remains aspirational and requires greater urban design and commercial rigour.
“Fundamental analysis of movement patterns, footfall, uses and transport modes is absent.
“During the workshop on April 30 it was apparent that the wider public had profound concerns about the performance of the masterplan.”
The feedback from the consultation itself was also critical.
Several stakeholders for the town expressed consultation fatigue, not being listened to and seeing a lack of action in the town.
Several smallscale actions were considered, including improving PR tactics for the town, improving wi-fi access in the town centre, and utilising empty shops.
Colwyn Bay Town Team and the Townscape Heritage Initiative have already found a use for 24 Station Road, with the property opening as a pop-up shop this week.
Long term plans include developing a unique selling point for the town, opening up Station Road and improving pedestrian links.
DCW added in the report: “We cannot overstress the importance of a ‘one council’ approach with greater integration of THI funding and housing improvement schemes to bring upper floors back into use.”

No comments: