DARLINGTON PEDESTRIAN HEART 16 NOVEMBER 2004
ORNAMENTAL STONEWORK, STEPS, BALUSTRADING, RAILINGS ON HIGH ROW
Purpose of this Appendix
To consider the Pedestrian Heart proposal to remove the 1901 re-design of High Row and return to a simpler and more elegant design based upon a balanced assessment of conservation issues and of the requirements of all members of the community; and taking in to consideration issues in relation to functionality, pedestrian movement, modern standards and guidance and design.
The Proposed Design of Pedestrian Area and the 1901s Re-Design of High Row
Since the consultation period finished, Darlington Civic Trust has lobbied widely for the retention of the layout of High Row/West Row/Prebend Row introduced in 1901, and the associated steps, balustrading and railings.
The general reasons for the proposed design are set out in the Cabinet report. The following paragraphs set out in more detail the reasons for removing the 1901 re-design of High Row and go back to a simpler and more elegant design.
The Council will need to seek the necessary consents under Planning and related Acts and, as a matter of course, a Conservation Area Consent application for demolition of the existing walls and balustrading has to be referred to the Secretary of State. High Row is within the Town Centre Conservation Area, and applications will need to include an assessment of the impact of the proposals on the character of the Conservation Area. Prior to referring an application to the Secretary of State it would be considered by the Council’s Planning Applications Committee. This meeting cannot, therefore, take any decision which would fetter the decision of Planning Applications Committee in due course.
Gillespies, in designing the scheme, have been in consultation with English Heritage. English Heritage have welcomed the proposed improvements and said that it is clear that works desperately need to be carried out in order to improve the image of Darlington as an important historic market town. English Heritage have said that they understand the proposed rationalisation of levels, that the plans are well detailed and have commended the aspiration for a high quality scheme. Overall, they have been supportive of the design concepts. They have had some reservations about the choice of paving materials in the conservation scheme and they wish to have further involvement in that.
Gillespies were chosen as designers because they have extensive experience of designing in historic setting. Indeed, Gillespies were chosen by English Heritage to write their ‘Streets for All’ documents providing regional guidance on good design practices, and Gillespies’ designs are frequently quoted by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) as best practice.
Appendix Ten - Cabinet report 16 November 2004 Darlington Town Centre Pedestrian Heart