This page is a work in progress and will begin to take shape over the coming weeks. Following the latest WCC Cabinet meeting on 6th July 2015 our group has been invited to be a member off the newly formed 'Station Approach Panel' ('SAP'). This is a new Council initiative to involve a number of 'Stakeholders' in the ongoing development of their plans. It is going to be really important that 'SANG' continues to press the case for improvements to 'public realm' i.e streets, landscaping trees etc. etc. as this development moves ahead.
(Details of other members of this new panel have been posted on our 'news' page).
21st October 2015
Notice received today from WCC Head of Policy and Projects gives a timetable for the coming months.
Dear Station Approach Panel member,
As of this morning, the contract notice for Station Approach will be published in the Official Journal of the EU. This signals the start of the process of the design competition. Below are the key milestones for the next 5 months as well as a link to the finalised design brief. We will also be working on updating the Station Approach webpages regularly as the competition progresses.
Issue of notice in Official Journal of European Union 21/10/15
Issue of invitation to tender documents to shortlisted architects 02/12/15
Anonymised exhibition of submission by shortlisted architects w/c 07/03/16
Design Jury examines designs and makes recommendations w/c 07/03/16
Special Cabinet to consider recommendations of Jury 29/03/16
17/8/15 The second meeting of the Station Approach Panel
( SANG Rep present was Steve Harbourne )
As with the previous meeting, this was organised in a 'workshop format' around 2 tables.We have made our view - along with other stakeholders present that this was not an appropriate way to conduct the panel and we hope that future meetings will respect this wish.
Council officers took notes (not minutes!) of the meeting and these are being published on the WCC website under Station Approach Panel Notes.
Following the meeting however, several stakeholders submitted a separate report outlining a number of concerns.These notes can be found here.
Since this meeting, a further draft of the 'Design Brief' has been produced and is due to be discussed and 'approved' by Cabinet on 17th September. Note: On the WCC page click on CAB2716 to open a copy of the 'Final' design brief.
In preparation for the Cabinet Meeting Liz Kessler has produced a very helpful summary report for Cabinet.
22/7/15 First Meeting of the Station Approach Panel
(SANG rep at this meeting was Imogen Dawson).
Draft Terms of reference for the group circulated were as follows:
The draft terms of reference, which were circulated at the meeting and discussed, show that it will only have an 'advisory' role. Here are the key draft paragraphs, which I think are important to note:
"The purpose of the Station Area Panel is to inform the process by which any new development in the Station Area proceeds, by providing a forum to update interested groups on progress with the project and an opportunity for members of the Panel to comment where appropriate and refer views to Cabinet. It does not have a formal role as part of the planning process, but provides an additional opportunity for engagement with the town's residents, business community and other interest groups. There will be other consultation opportunities in addition to the Panel.
To achieve its objectives the Panel will act as an informal advisory body to discuss and engage with Panel members on the following issues, and advise Cabinet accordingly:
Receive updates and progress reports on the development with the opportunity to make comments and ask questions.
Act as a sounding board where ideas, options and issues relating to the development can be considered.
When the time is appropriate, monitor the progress of construction and the impact that it has, raising any issues of concern to be considered by Cabinet."
Suggested reading. ( just click on each).
1. Draft Design Brief ( Official Version 1 ). This was the initial draft design spec.
2. Draft Design Brief ( Official version 2) ( WCC Version 2. As included with Town Forum Agenda).
3. Draft Design Brief ( official version 3 ) as submitted to Cabinet for approval 17th Sept 2015)
3. Suggested amended version (Contains amendments suggested by 20/20 group and SANG- comments based on official V.1).
4 . Link to Urban Flow latest analysis based on recent parking survey. *
* Note - We are trying to obtain the full data for this survey as some concerns have already been raised regarding the methodology adopted for example regarding 'assumptions' made by the authors of the report concerning routes taken by vehicles to and from Car Parks. Watch this space. This is important since these conclusions have already been incorporated into the Version 2 of the Design Brief that will be discussed by WTF).
Update 10th September.
At the second panel meeting, concern was once again expressed as outlined above. Phil G (WinAc) outlined in detail a host of concerns and has been in contact with an officer of the Council since then. The response from WCC is essentially that the report they have commissioned is based on 'sound methodology' - despite including assumptions referred to above and also despite not even including any reference to the impact of Barton Farm on traffic movement ! We will continue to press the case for common sense and a more intelligent interpretation of the data but at present despite obvious flaws the UrbanFlow analysis is being used to support the proposal to shift car parking from Cattle Market to Gladstone Street.