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

Weston-super-Mare town centre regeneration Draft SPD

High Street Area

KEY EXISTING CHARACTERISTICS

1.The retail heart of Weston is centred on High Street, the main pedestrianised link between Grove Village and High Street South. It includes Town Square and Big Lamp Corner, two of the key public spaces in the Town Centre, and extends to the seafront including Victoria Square and the Winter Gardens.

2. There are a considerable number of buildings of interest in a variety of architectural styles and of varying quality. A rich variety of building materials in warm tones typical of Weston, including brick, painted brick, render, tiles and limestone ashlar including some rare lead detailing. Characterised by a closed continuous building line with a variety of plot sizes and a typical building height of 2-3 storeys. The Sovereign Centre occupies a large urban block west of the High Street behind existing buildings, with internal access to Town Square and is one of the largest plots in the town centre.

3. Town Square is a fragmented space with limited permeability and animation.

4. There is a lack of cohesion in the public realm in terms of design and materials. Pedestrianised High Street is looking tired. Uncontrolled shopfront design and signage reduce the coherence of the streetscape and adversely affect architectural and streetscape character. Few evening economy uses, little residential use and lack of activity in the evenings contribute to an unattractive area in the evening.

5. Poor visibility and connection between the Seafront and High Street Areas.

6. Views north to Worlebury Hill and Upper Stone Town along High Street are a key feature.

 

High-St-Area Legend

 

FUTURE CHARACTER STATEMENTimage334

The High Street Area will be strengthened as the primary shopping area and an attractive town centre destination, focussing on the pedestrianised High Street and two key public spaces at either end. At one end, Town Square will have considerable impact as an improved space with increased leisure, food and drink offer at the Sovereign Centre. It will provide the setting for the new college facility at the Winter Gardens and improved setting to the Royal Hotel. The link via Spider Lane will be enhanced to create an enticing throughway from seafront to High Street.

The role of Big Lamp Corner as an important public space at the heart of a consolidated, enlivened town centre and at one end of the pedestrianised Regent Street linking the town centre to the seafront and the Pier will also be strengthened. An improved frontage to the Sovereign Centre from the promenade at Victoria Square will be supported. The High Street will be upgraded with improved surfacing and street furniture. The potential to construct a canopy will be investigated. The qualities of some of the existing built form will be strengthened, with opportunities to gradually upgrade some of the lower quality post war buildings and a more sympathetic treatment to shop fronts.

 

DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES

  • Strengthen the area as the main town centre retail and leisure destination and supporting focused, food and beverage outlets facing Town Square.
  • Create improved direct links to Orchard/ Meadows, High Street South, Grove Village and the seafront.
  • Contribute to an improved and coordinated high quality public realm.
  • New development to respect existing scale (typically 2-4 storeys) and reflect rich variety in plot widths, architectural style and materials through appropriate shop front and signage design, sensitive restoration and complementary contemporary development.
  • Make a positive contribution to the vitality, viability and diversity of the town by encouraging a greater mix of uses including retail, food and drink, leisure, residential and education to encourage a continuous daytime and evening economy, whilst respecting the need to prioritise retail development on the primary shopping frontages.
  • Improvements to Town Square should ensure its use as a flexible event space with active uses encouraged and greater connectivity to the seafront, High Street and Grove Village.
  • Improve the setting and views of the Royal Hotel including transformation of the linkage to the Seafront along Spider Lane and the creation of an animated and active western edge to Town Square.
  • Sovereign Centre improvements should ensure the complex relates better to the surrounding buildings and spaces and create a prominent and well-designed seafront frontage.
  • Proposals for the development or enhancement of Victoria Square should ensure significant linkages from the seafront to the Sovereign centre.
  • Proposals which provide residential use above shops will be welcomed
  • Shopfront design (including the use of security shutters) should reflect the historic quality of the building. A coordinated approach throughout the primary shopping area and the need to balance security with a welcoming night-time environment is required.