Sunday, 22 May 2011

Tenbury Futures: The People's Plan - Your Designs Wanted..

Last month we successfully balloted the local community and visitors to the town on what they would like to see happen with Tenbury’s old Cattle Market site. Now via the People's Plan we’re inviting everyone to contribute to design ideas for the site [See 'Download' links top right of this site].

The initial Tenbury Futures survey* returned nearly 300 replies with some definite wants, some conclusive not-wants, and some ideas on which there were mixed views.

* You wanted:
Those in the survey's 300 replies mainly wanted the re-use of the old infirmary as a museum and tourist information centre, the construction of a riverside walk and cafĂ©. Then came additional parking and an area to accommodate Tenbury’s many events, popular with locals and visitors – such as the unique mistletoe market, the apple fest, the food festival, the fair and the popular car boot sales. Also rated highly was improved and enlarged recycling facilities.

* You didn't want: 
There was very little support in the 300 replies for a single large retail supermarket development and the majority opted for ideas that would benefit the wider community. There were mixed views on small-scale retail or commercial development and on a hydro-electric micro-generation plant for the town.

The People's Plan:

Drawing skills:
There’s no need to be good at drawing though; what we want to see is your ideas and rough designs. Once the survey is complete (there is a closing date of 30 Jun 2011) we will collate the responses and look into having plans drawn up based on the most popular site layouts.

Community-wide feedback:
We’d like as many people to participate as possible and are hoping for feedback from individuals, schools, community groups, churches etc – in fact anyone who is interested in the future of Tenbury's Cattle Market site.

The plan:
We have drawn up a simple site plan [not to scale] for participants to complete [below] to get the ball rolling, the information is accompanied by some sketches of possible options – although these are only ideas to stimulate debate.

[Click image to enlarge]

Sample site plan

These ideas also potentially help generate a set of facilities that compliment Tenbury's existing ongoing developments [Regal Cinema etc] while helping to enhance both local community facilities and local tourism further.

Particularly significant could be a new or supporting venue for our unique mistletoe market, food fair or applefest while also providing a new outdoor performance space, riverside cafe and market site or designer-maker units/shops. The site may also provide a space for a new bespoke Community Centre too.

[Click image to enlarge]

Tenbury Cattle Market: Artist's Impression - Angle 01

Artist's Impression - Angle 02 [Some riverside trees omitted only for clarity].

Community Trust:
The development could potentially be created by a community-driven trust in the same way as Ludlow's successful Millenium Green re-development. Their trust has a long list of local members who both help raise monies and help with the running. In addition, they've raised thousands of pounds to assist with the re-development and secured grant monies to help fund ongoing work.

Returned Ideas:
These are some of the returned visual ideas that have been passed to the Futures group. 
[Click images to enlarge]
From Mr K, Tenbury Wells
Mr K whose points include that the RBB Building should be refurbished as the new location for the Tenbury Museum. Additionally, Mr K believes that the site could be used for a new social centre and large festival site.
From Mr R, St Michaels, Tenbury Wells
Mr R suggests that nr Durban in South Africa they created a riverside esplanade with a beautifully designed complex which housed all kinds of craft industries such as jewellers, artists, potters, booksellers, bars and restaurants - all selling cheap/reasonably priced services/products.
[Click image to enlarge]
Mr S, Tenbury Wells
Community boating on a raised pool
Mr S wanted to follow-up comments on the Tenbury Blog by creating a quick visual of an idea that had been raised some years back about a possible raised slow-moving stretch of water for a community boating area. The idea was apparently dismissed at the time [and this really is just an additional bolt-on idea - no formal funding ideas offered-up] when it was raised. But in the light of attracting additional tourism and monies to the town's local shops - this sort of idea could potentially assist. Much like Ludlow where [despite the Teme being SSSI] town council-run boats have been hired-out on the river by the popular car park underneath the castle. Not only could this be open to the public but it could be used by local clubs and societies for kayaking etc - for example, the local scouts, maybe Bockleton Hall outdoor persuits centre and Tenbury High School's outdoor club. In these days of uber health and safety though and people litigating at the drop of a hat this sort of an idea might be a hard sell - but it's an idea and ideas are the currency here.

Combined with micro hydro power generation
As a postscript though it could also be made to combine with micro hydro power generation at the weir end. This incorporation of micro hydro has already been given planning permission at an existing weir further down the River Teme  as well as the weir re-build ongoing upstream on the Teme at Bromfield - specifically to incorporate micro hydro electricity so there are clear precedents for this. The power generated [one of the areas where govt devt grants haven't been totally pulled] could power some or all of the Cattle Market development maybe. It could even generate some spare capacity to feed in to the national grid - at which point it could also help pay for itself too by receiving hydro electric feed-in tariffs.
[Click images to enlarge]
The weir being rebuilt at Bromfield on the River Teme
for hydro electric power generation [taken May 2011].

The public information board placed next to the weir re build.
It claims it will create enough consistent power to supply the equivalent
of 420 average homes.

"Your plan is very good"
Mr J, Tenbury Wells [from returned forms]

[Click image to enlarge]

Mr S, Orleton ~ Solar PV Panel Shadeports

Solar PV Shadeports
Mr S explains that the US has been using 'solar shadeports' for car parking since 2009 and that this sort of power generation scenario could be applied to the Cattle Market site [and/or any open car parks in the town] too. Although this is only a rough visual, solar arrays of the scale above could generate up 124272 kWhrs.per annum. There is a chance that finance towards development of this sort of scenario may be possible too. Using new technology it's even possible to get 240v 50Hz direct from these sorts of panels. With solar feed-in tariffs this sort of scenario could also either help additionally pay for itself or maybe even earn the site monies if a surplus to the local requirements were generated.
G.A. suggests a blend of 'Futures' ideas with a Superstore.

G.A. suggests keeping the RBB Building but allowing Tesco to build on the site - creating a mix of refs which may appeal to a broad range of Tenbury's residents. They suggest that the car park be made available by the supermarket to assist with local festivals, Mistletoe Sales and Carnivals etc too.

An Alternate Teme Bridge and Relief Rd.
[Click image to enlarge]

Suggested replacement bridge and relief road - Tenbury.

Possible Semi-Pedestrianised Teme St

Possible Teme St One Way Scheme and Semi-Pedestrianised Area
Allied to the New Relief Rd Idea

Possible Traffic Light Array: Crow Turning

Possible Traffic Light Array for Option A [Above]

As discussed on the Tenbury blog recently, the old Teme Bridge in Tenbury has been identified as needing substantial repair work to the tune of millions of pounds just to make it safe. The discussion suggested that as the old bridge was the 'lifeline of the town' and that we should really think about securing easy future access to the town as opposed to short term sticking plasters on the old bridge. To do so could be to divert the majority of those millions and put them towards a plan that better allowed Tenbury to flourish and grow into the future instead of constantly dealing with the bottleneck that is the old bridge. The idea being that the old Teme Bridge [which is a unique Scheduled Ancient Monument] would then have the stresses of increasing HGV usage, increasingly regular traffic jams due to the 'bend' in it and the resultant increases in structural problems on it removed as traffic transferred to an alternate modern crossing of the Teme.

Such a crossing and relief road would cost many more millions - that's clear. But maybe there comes a time when the local authorities need to take the long view and invest accordingly to secure the long term future of the town.

As a spin-off, the old bridge's use could be scaled-back so that it accommodates pedestrians, cyclists and emergency vehicles only. This would make this end of the town much quieter and the combination of this, the picturesque river location and the unique bridge architecture could have a dramatic effect on local tourism. In fact it was mentioned on the blog that there might be similarities to the situation at 'Ironbridge' in terms of tourist draw [not that the Teme Bridge in Tenbury is quite in the same league but we understand it's one of only 2x SAM's which are bridges with curves in them in the UK].

The points on the rough drawing refer to: 
1. Burford Hospital. Pulling out of this blind corner can often mean risking an accident or worse at peak times with vehicles speeding towards the hospital largely out of view. Hence adding a roundabout here and a [raised] relief rd across the fields to a new bridge could serve a number of purposes.

2. The Old Teme Bridge. This could be 'retired' and actively help increase the town's tourism draw if a new bridge and relief rd were put in.

3. The Crow Hotel Turning. All traffic that passes over the present Teme bridge passes this way around the tight corner - often creating jams with longer HGVs. If the relief rd were plumbed-into the B4204 that comes into the back of the town from Rochford then it could [option A] be diverted to this junction where minor works and a traffic light system could enable a suitable traffic flow. The idea illustrated above using traffic lights may actually allow a wider swing/turning circle for HGV's than the present two way corner at the Crow Hotel.

Alternatively [option B], the traffic could initially come onto the B4204 and then via a new relied rd to the south join up to the Bromyard Rd near the 'S bends' near the business park. With the addition of minor works and a new mini roundabout at the junction of the Bromyard Rd this would take away from the town centre the mainstay of HGV traffic. On the theme of tourist attraction, Teme St could then potentially be semi-pedestrianised too [while still allowing access to the Cattle Market etc] - thus creating an airy and  attractive public realm space or more overt 'tourist zone'.

4. A New More Accessible Teme Bridge. This could be in one of various modern formats  - cantilever etc or strictly just governed by cost and utilitarian needs.
Some Videos For Your Consideration:

BBC Whistleblowers: Supermarkets

Channel 4: Supermarket Secrets

The End of Suburbia [Documentary Film]

The Story of Stuff

The Transition Movement

Transition Conference 2011

A New Town Square

Mr L, Burford, Tenbury
Mr L suggests a combination of new Town Square with central monument, space for market stalls, training allotments for local schools, parking and a new orchard.

New Central Plaza Celebrating Tenbury's History

Ms P, Burford Suggests a Central Plaza area.

Key to above concept.
Ms P from Burford says that the Tenbury has become very traffic orientated with no central focal point and increasingly busy routes through the town centre. The redevelopment of the former old cattle market provides a key focal area to encourage this and make the most of the River Teme and it's historic bridge.

A central walkway through the area linking all the components and river wlakway/plaza containing seating areas, uplighting and architectural plants would provide a mixture of hard and soft landscaping highlighting and creating key focal points within the site. Planting could compromise of raised timber planters containing Phormiums, Pampas Grass and other architectural species such as Yucca's and Stipa species [grasses].

Low lighting could be used to highlight key paths with surfacing compromising a mixture of slab paving, timber and gravel creating unique character to the the courtyards and site identity. 

Within the centre either a central water feature or monument/sculpture or art piece could be incorporated to reflect Tenbury's history or the site's former uses.

The site could almost become a gateway leading the tourist to some of the highlights and history of Tenbury such as the Pump Rooms, Regal Theatre and the Butter Market.