The city council has thanked the many people who came along to hear more about its plans for Beach Street last Friday (30 November) at Beach Creative.
With such a good turnout, there were many views expressed, mostly in favour with some against, and a few heated discussions along the way.
Many people who were unsure of the plans initially went away much happier after seeing the full details or having a chat with council officers. Others were less happy and the council will be following up on a number of specific points with some individuals in the coming days.
Plans for Beach Street, looking south
The two key issues that came up were the loss of parking and the fact that there will not be a new gateway to Central Parade.
The parking situation has been looked at closely and the two, small car parks in Beach Street are generally under-used, although they are fuller in summer. The council has has carried out an analysis of parking capacity in the town and there is enough space to take the number of vehicles that use Beach Street at the moment, even at busy times.
On the gateway, a new entrance onto Central Parade from Beach Street was one of the original ideas, but as the council has gone about developing the proposals, it became clear it made the overall scheme financially unviable and would not work with the limited space available.
Beach Street as it is today
In addition, the existing footpath from Beach Street already provides access to the seafront, and the council will be enhancing that footpath and creating a new access to it through the new development.
At Friday’s event, lots of people said they couldn’t see the need for another walkway as it will just create a wind tunnel and the footpath more than does the job anyway. Others were disappointed by the lack of a new seafront access, and the council understands why.
The council will now finalise the proposals for Beach Street as it heads towards submitting a planning application early next year. There will be formal public consultation as part of this.
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