Agenda item

Questions under Rule 11.2


Councillor Ecclestone submitted a question ‘Can the portfolio holder please advise what historical style the new furniture & fittings in the Riverside redevelopment could be classified as?’


The Planning Portfolio Holder explained that it could be described as Contemporary – the site and its environs are not characterised by one particular historical style in architecture or otherwise.


The Contemporary furniture is designed to meet the needs of a diverse population with the design of the benches responding to previous issues raised regarding metal seating in the town centre being too hot/cold/wet.


The design team worked with Conservation Officer on the correct approach to street furniture here.  It is a simple, natural palette of materials, and colours with an overall coherence within the design.


They are a simple and unobtrusive design, not detracting from the heritage assets – and a good quality contemporary design that does not draw the eye to one particular item.


The Lamp columns are the same style as previous.



Councillor Ecclestone asked ‘Can he please point out to the councillors and the public which buildings in the Conservation Area that these articles match or are consistent with?’


The Planning Portfolio Holder referred to the answer to the previous question. The site does not adhere to a particular style of period character.


As per discussions with the Conservation Officer – street furniture items would indeed not need to match a particular heritage building, just not visually compete with them.


Public space design is not intended to create a pastiche and as the Town Mills at the centre of the scheme was a working building, there would not be an appropriate ‘matching’ style of bench suitable.


The design uses a circular motif within the paving and echoed in the bike racks to visually link the old pocket park and the new riverside park, giving the park some distinction and character.



Councillor Ecclestone asked ‘Why does planning document 19_01263_FULLN-Landscape_layout-1568644 bear only a tenuous resemblance to what was actually built at Town Mills park?’


The Planning Portfolio Holder reported that the drawings were re-drawn by HCC engineering for contract, a small number of technical changes were made none of which affect the overall working or function of the scheme.


A large proportion of the works were carried out without the need for planning permission by the Highways Authority and this includes the following: closing off of road to vehicular traffic, new vehicular access, alterations to the car parking layout, new signage, resurfacing, new shared pedestrian/cycle path, installation of lighting columns, installation of benches, new bins, installation of cycle stands, installation of bollards.


Some of the works are not considered to be development such as the planting of new trees and new grassed areas. The installation of boundary treatment is also considered to be permitted development that does not require additional Planning consent.


Some small changes were addressed by Non Material amendment applications and were dealt with by the Planning Officer and department as appropriate


As ever, on a scheme of this scale, uncharted utilities and uncovered items within the ground require amendments to be accommodated;  for example one tree could not be planted due to utilities within the tree pit area and there was not a suitable replacement area within the scheme.


Councillor Ecclestone asked a supplementary question about the plans.  The willow that had fallen down has not been replaced however is shown in the plans.  This would be consistent with climate emergency and good water management to have this replaced.  The table tennis table shown in the plan was missing in the reorganisation of the park and not added.


The Planning Portfolio holder advised Councillor Ecclestone that there were many additional trees planted in that area however he and will look into the issue of the willow tree and the table tennis table and let Councillor Ecclestone know.