Town Centre Regeneration Community Partnership meeting
Report by Maggie Loates:
I went to the Town Centre Regeneration Community Partnership meeting today (thank you Karen for passing this on, it was very worthwhile).
It was run by Swithin Long, several Town Centre and Preston councillors were present, along with Alan Denby, Nigel ???, Darren Cowell, Kevin Mowat, and Louise Gilson.
The discussion covered all of the Future High Street Funds (FHSF) projects. The Forum will be delighted to hear that after we all had a go at Alan Denby the other night, he got the message and they are now going to put £700,000 (5%) of the FHSF monies into Torbay Road, and probably add additional funds. They have already drafted a design plan for the road and appear to be considering trialling pedestrianisation at the sea front end.
We talked about Station Square and the dreadful mess the traffic around there currently is. There was a discussion about the bollards and whether they are permanent, which officers could not confirm. The Paignton councillors are very keen to see that sorted. I asked about the design which showed the Victorian buildings opposite the station being replaced with an unattractive block of flats and whether the facade could be retained. The response was that this was not definite yet; there would be a consultation and a planning application.
There was also a discussion about how useless the bollards on the pavement next to the Redcliffe are. Officers suggested they will be removed.
There was a lot of discussion about what to do with Victoria Square and Garfield Road. One telecom company has already moved its equipment and the other one is expected to have moved its equipment by June. Apparently Lidl is not being very cooperative but the officers are pursuing discussions and hope to get a resolution soon. Lidl's lease covers not only the supermarket but the surrounding buildings as well. There were suggestions about putting in a smaller food market. Councillors are very much in favour of redesigning the whole area (Victoria Square and Garfield Road) as one project.
Crossways' owner is also not being very cooperative. The CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order) is going ahead and officers are hopeful that as the hearing date approaches, the owner will become more helpful. Officers could not confirm Royal Mail had withdrawn its objection to the CPO but several people noted they had seen it in the media.
The other topic of discussion was the shelters on the sea front and how much they are subject to antisocial behaviour. There was talk of removing them. Darren Cowell noted that the taxpayers are not spending money on them at this time as the Town Centre CP is maintaining them. Louise Gilson said that currently 4 panes of glass had been smashed which the CP was going to replace. Officers suggested it was a waste of money and a different solution to the problem should be found. I asked if removing the shelters would affect the design of the new sea wall and was told the sea wall was not a subject of discussion at the moment!
- Freda Bamford Dwane
I'm a little disturbed at any suggestion of moving the shelters - surely they're of prime importance, especially during the peak months, but very useful during the other months too?
- Michael Clack
Suggest they use Polycarbonate rather than 4mm Glass. Will give the appearance of Glass but almost indestructible.
- Diane Mitchell
I again totally agree with the 2 previous comments.
The shelters are very much used and are a part of the sea front.
Again replace the glass with Polycarbonate/perspex. it is available in 10mm so would be indestructible.