Essential to make the scheme viable

There are no plans for a 14-storey tower block on Weston's seafront. If a proposal for such a scale of growth were to arise it would and should be subjected to extensive public scrutiny. However if exciting ideas for creating new health and children cent

There are no plans for a 14-storey tower block on Weston's seafront. If a proposal for such a scale of growth were to arise it would and should be subjected to extensive public scrutiny. However if exciting ideas for creating new health and children centres, library, leisure facilities, shops, office and secure car parking are to be translated into reality then a substantial residential element will be essential to make the whole scheme viable. Clearly the Beach Road frontage would be best placed for sea-view apartments and given the huge financial investment necessary such living would need to be of a high-rise concept.In order not to repeat the oppressive block style of other high-rise developments it would be imperative to design such an addition to our seafront with the finest architectural skills available. The point I have tried to make is that whereas a standard seven-storey block would look most unappealing it might just be that a higher development would produce sufficient extra capital return to warrant more interesting, expensive and perhaps even iconic architecture. I have made this point in order to stimulate intelligent public debate, not to state what is to happen. I have never suggested that such a development would be suitable as social housing or for occupation by families with young children, but equally with a growing imbalance in Weston's age range we need to attract younger, professional workers who will help bring new prosperity to Weston and who would be looking for a lifestyle somewhat different from that offered by the suburban volume house builder. With high-tech employment becoming a real likelihood at the former RAF and airfield sites and with some radical ideas beginning to emerge about the sustainable design of these developments Weston could be approaching a truly exciting stage in its life where there will be a demand for accommodation, employment and leisure way beyond that currently on offer. It's the small-town affair with mediocrity that gave us Dolphin Square in the first place and it's time to move on.CLLR JOHN CROCKFORD-HAWLEY - Executive Member Strategic Planning & Transport


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