Weston-super-Mare Town Centre Regeneration - Draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

Weston-super-Mare town centre regeneration Draft SPD

Grove Village

KEY EXISTING CHARACTERISTICS

1. Area to the north of the primary shopping area including Grove Park.

2. Grove Park is a registered historic park and garden and valued green space in the town centre containing some listed features. St John’s Church, Glebe House, Grove House, War Memorial, Victorian band stand and nearby Oriel Terrace add quality to the parkland setting. The character area is included within a conservation area.

3. Distinct and vibrant character with a well-established night-time and cultural economy, with venues including the Playhouse Theatre, Heritage Café and Blakehay Theatre, some small scale specialist retail units.

4. Fine grain urban form structured by an informal grid of lanes enclosed by typically three storey buildings. Many interesting buildings including listed examples of Hans Price’s work and buildings dating from Weston’s early growth from a small village. A rich mix of architecture, including beautifully detailed and proportioned Italianate and Flemish architecture, Victorian and post-war buildings in varying condition, many in need of repair. Boundaries defined by strong closed building lines which abut the streets.

5. Narrow pavements and on-street parking restrict pedestrian movement and limit the opportunity for businesses to spill out and animate the public realm.

6. Strong links between the built up area and Grove Park, with attractive views to the wooded backdrop of Worlebury Hill and the Upper Stone Town. Limestone rubble, limestone ashlar and red brick are prevalent building materials which create a warm and textured character.

Grove-Village  Legend

 

image292FUTURE CHARACTER STATEMENT

Grove Village will increasingly be recognised as the cultural, creative and university quarter of Weston-super-Mare – a destination at the northern end of the High Street with a strong focus on culture, leisure and the evening economy. The area is identified as having potential to become a ‘seedbed’ for the creative industries which are being increasingly priced out of Bristol, and for local talent to capitalise on Weston’s regeneration. Grove Village will play an important role in drawing footfall northwards across the town centre and will become a year-round daytime and evening destination for local residents and visitors.

The growing student population attending Weston College and its new Law and Professional Services Academy at the Winter Gardens will strengthen this role, introducing a new energy and vitality to the area whilst also contributing towards the establishment of a mixed and balanced town centre community.

Public realm improvements will allow the intimate streets to provide valuable spill out space for a mix of cafes, restaurants and bars. The quality of the street scenes will be enhanced by sympathetic improvements to buildings and their frontages, including shop frontage and signage.

 

DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLESimage296

  • Respect and where possible strengthen the area’s role as Weston’s ‘cultural quarter’ by sympathetic improvements to the built form and providing complementary uses to the existing mix, focused around arts, culture, entertainment, education and the night-time economy including food and drink.
  • Respect existing development scale (typically 2-4 storeys) and the fine grain of development found in this area reflecting the rich variety in plot widths, architectural style and materials through appropriate shop front and signage design, sensitive restoration and complementary contemporary design.
  • Provide clear, direct and safe pedestrian links to surrounding character areas, particularly the Seafront and High Street, and between Weston College and the Winter Gardens, including the provision of improved pavement space, shared treatment, coordinated public realm, incorporating clear and safe crossing points, all in keeping with the heritage and character of the area.
  • Improve legibility and natural wayfinding through a coordinated approach to public realm design and street furniture selection which reflects its character.
  • Retain and frame views of Worlebury Hill and Grove Park to the north.
  • Buildings which front the Town Square should enclose that space. Frontages, scale, and prominence should provide a coherent backdrop for the square.