Station Gateway plans must ‘herald Weston as town with its eye to the future’ – civic society
PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 August 2018
Weston-super-Mare’s civic leaders have criticised plans for new apartment blocks near the railway station, with concerns raised the designs are ‘bland’.
The area around Weston Railway Station is seen by North Somerset Council as a fundamental site in its plans to regenerate Weston.
Its vision includes using Locking Road car park and Sunnyside Road for housing.
Homes England, the Government’s house-building department, owns the sites and is leading the project.
The proposals include building 400 homes in apartment blocks, and public consultation closed in July.
Weston Civic Society, which was set up to ensure developments are high quality and in-keeping with the character of the town, has commented on the proposals.
A spokesman said: “The civic society believes a modern and contemporary approach is essential if the Station Gateway development is to send out the right signals and herald Weston as a town with its eye to the future.
“Unfortunately the submitted design concept shows elevational blandness, lack of a varied or interesting roofscape and an absence of void to solid relationships.”
The society believes the dual carriageway and railway will also present a noise problem.
Commenting on the Sunnyside Road designs, it said: “This proposal is overly dense.
“Heights of some blocks are excessive and this could lead to a sense of oppression within the courtyards. The layout appears arbitrary with little acknowledgement of surroundings.”
However, it is more supportive of the design for Locking Road car park, where the apartment blocks are drawn at different heights.
Elfan Ap Rees, the council’s executive member for housing, has also argued the plans should go further and create a more exciting entrance to the town.
He previously told the Mercury: “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.”
Homes England is expected to submit a planning application later this year.