Housing plans for town centre car parks 'are not dramatic enough'

PUBLISHED: 17:37 05 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:58 05 July 2018

Images of the proposed redevelopment of Locking Road and Sunnyside Road car parks have been revealed. Picture: North Somerset Council

Images of the proposed redevelopment of Locking Road and Sunnyside Road car parks have been revealed. Picture: North Somerset Council

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Transformation plans for Weston-super-Mare's Locking Road and Sunnyside Road car parks should be more 'dramatic', according to North Somerset Council's deputy leader.

Cllr Elfan Ap ReesCllr Elfan Ap Rees

Elfan Ap Rees, who is also the council’s executive member for housing, has raised concerns with the 400-home Government-led development of the car parks, arguing plans could go further to create a more exciting entrance to the town.

The development is being orchestrated by Homes England, the Government’s house-building department, in association with the council – and it is hoped the project will lure investment, employment and commuters to the town centre, with Weston Railway Station a mere stone’s throw away.

But Cllr Ap Rees told the Mercury he is not sold on the plans which were first showcased at a consultation event on June 27, and believes more needs to be done to help maximise the potential of the regeneration of Weston town centre.

He said: “I have concerns with the proposals. I don’t think the plans as presented are dramatic enough for such a gateway site.

Images of the proposed redevelopment of Locking Road and Sunnyside Road car parks have been revealed. Picture: North Somerset CouncilImages of the proposed redevelopment of Locking Road and Sunnyside Road car parks have been revealed. Picture: North Somerset Council

“The development needs to offer quality town-centre apartments of sufficient stature to minimise our use of green field-land, and which will attract residents using the rail services to commute rather than cars but who will also bring employment and spending into the regenerated town centre.”

Artist’s impressions of the plans were revealed last week, prompting a mixture of opinions on social media and through the Mercury’s letterbox.

One prominent concern is where visiting coaches will park if Locking Road Car Park is redeveloped, with the council exploring options to find an alternative.

An online consultation on the plans is underway and will run until Wednesday, giving Westonians a chance to have their say on the plans.

Images of the proposed redevelopment of Locking Road and Sunnyside Road car parks have been revealed. Picture: North Somerset CouncilImages of the proposed redevelopment of Locking Road and Sunnyside Road car parks have been revealed. Picture: North Somerset Council

After the consultation is complete, Homes England’s architects will return to the drawing board before submitting a planning application later this year.

To view the plans and comment in the consultation, visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-business/regeneration/weston-vision/locking-road-and-sunnyside-road-consultation

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