Back in August, we invited local businesses, residents and community groups to attend a workshop to discuss our aspirations for the Seaburn site. The workshop was was well attended, with 37 participants taking part in group discussions.
Four common themes have been identified through feedback from the groups. These need to be taken into account in the design of the masterplan and management of the development, where viable to do so. These will be addressed by the team at the next public consultation:
1. MIX OF USES, MIX OF PEOPLE
- There was a general agreement that the site should be family-friendly, and especially not become the new “drinking centre” for youngsters.
- Most groups mentioned the importance of having a mixture of uses including some housing and prefer leisure, retail or holiday let.
2. DESIGN QUALITY
- All groups were keen for the masterplan to include increased leisure uses on the site to encourage more families to visit and stay longer. All-year leisure uses was sited as important to ensure the area is not just used for the summer holidays.
- Most groups mentioned an aspiration to provide popular amenities, like an ice rink or swimming pool, as well as annual or monthly events like live music or food festivals.
3. AESTHETICS AND QUALITY
- Seaburn is a place with character. All of the groups mentioned Cut Throat Dene, as a key site in the identity of Seaburn and the future layout should be considered carefully.
- The high quality and beauty of the development is a concern, about housing as well as about public space which should be attractive but still allow everyone to feel welcome and comfortable, as suggested in the “Mix of people” section.
- Details such as enough places to sit and having public toilets available are also important to the overall success of the scheme.
- There was apprehension from all groups that the new development will increase traffic and parking issues. Generally they felt that there should be more parking provided as part of the development.
- Interest has been shown in the way public transportation could be a solution for the traffic issues. Better way-finding and links to the local METRO station would help encourage the use of public transport and may also reduce the number of parking places needed.
Feedback from the session, in the form of a short summary report, is now available to view at this link: http://urbed.coop/sites/default/files/Seaburn_August%20Hopes%20and%20Fears%20Workshop%20Note.pdf