Torbay Council want the help of its residents to design a high-quality public space in the heart of Torquay Town Centre.
Using funding secured for Torquay through a successful Towns Fund bid which saw more than £21million being awarded, the council are looking to use £600,000 to make enhancements to the town centre.
The space, more commonly known as the GPO roundabout, links the two main shopping areas of Union Street and Fleet Street.
Five concept ideas are being put forward, with members of the public invited to share their views on each of the ideas. The feedback gathered throughout the consultation period will be used to shape a future design.
By improving and opening the space, the council are looking to make it easier for pedestrians to flow through the town centre, create a high-quality space where people enjoy spending their time, as well as offering space for pop-up events, art installations and activities.
Each of the concept ideas focus on what things can be changed to make the space more inviting, user friendly and sustainable – with a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SuDS) incorporated into each of the ideas.
Local company GRO Landscape Architects Ltd has produced the five concept ideas after considering site restrictions such as existing traffic movement and exploring wider opportunities to introduce more planting, seating, lighting, and space.
There are several ways that residents can get involved to help shape the future design.
– By viewing the concepts and completing the consultation questionnaire online.
– By viewing the concepts and completing the consultation questionnaire in Torquay Library (available from 13 December)
– By attending one of the face-to-face consultation events taking place in Torquay town centre (dates will be publicised through the council’s Facebook and Twitter pages).
The consultation runs from Thursday 8 December 2022 to Sunday 8 January 2023.
Cllr Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council, said; “The community are instrumental in helping us to design and create spaces that improve the local area. By opening the area, we can create a more flexible space that people could enjoy spending time in, especially if it is designed with the things people want to see. Shoppers and visitors expect a more modern and a better experience on the high street and that is exactly what we are looking to create.”
Cllr Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing for Torbay Council, said; “Our aim is to improve our town centres by creating thriving places that people want to live in, work in, visit and invest in. This area of Torquay town centre is mainly used as a taxi waiting area, and the roundabout structure ‘bookends’ the highstreets, rather than encouraging movement between the two shopping areas and the harbour.”
Vince Flower, Chair of the Torquay Town Deal Board, said; “The role of the Town Deal Board is to maximise opportunities for Torquay and to drive forward town centre transformation. By creating a better connected, vibrant town centre we can encourage new business growth and attract new businesses to the area – both vital to growing the local economy. This project is just one of several in the Town Investment Plan that is benefiting from the Town Deal funding which the Town Deal Board is committed to delivering.”
View the concepts and have your say on the ‘Have your say on improvements to Torquay Town Centre’ project page: https://yoursay.torbay.gov.uk/town-centre-public-realm
Stay up to date with this project and other regeneration projects happening in Torquay by signing up to the Torquay Projects newsletter: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKTORBAYCOUNCIL/signup/34395
This is an exciting time for Torbay with a number of multi-million pound projects happening across Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. Investment in Torbay’s towns, local economy, transport, infrastructure, culture, and heritage will provide residents with spaces to thrive and future proof the area for generations to come.
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