PLAN FOR GI­ANT SHEL­TER IS ‘AN­AR­CHIC’ AND ‘IN DIS­AR­RAY’ SAY COUN­CIL­LORS AF­TER SEE­ING ARTIST’S IM­PRES­SION Vic­to­ria Square pavil­ion suf­fers early crit­i­cism

From the peo­ple who brought you the £13,000 bolt sculp­ture, street­lights cost­ing £7,000 each and £1,500 stain­less steel rub­bish bins comes this sug­gested new “land­mark” town-cen­tre struc­ture – a gi­ant shel­ter (cost as yet un­known). This is an artist’s imp

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Sam Len­non slen­non@thek­m­group.co.uk

THE de­sign for a pavil­ion in Ash­ford’s planned Vic­to­ria Square has been branded a “dog’s din­ner” and “daft”.

Other coun­cil­lors de­scribed it as “an­ar­chic and in dis­ar­ray” and a “Pi­casso de­sign”.

Mem­bers of Ash­ford’s Joint Trans­porta­tion Board (JTB) roundly crit­i­cised the de­sign of the pavil­ion in the Vic­to­ria Square sec­tion of the Vic­to­ria Way de­vel­op­ment.

Cllr Gerry Clark­son (Con) said of the pavil­ion: “I do think it’s like a dog’s din­ner. It seems to be a bit daft.”

Cllr Bernard Heyes (Con) said: “The pavil­ion’s ar­chi­tec­ture seems an­ar­chic, if not in dis­ar­ray.”

Ash­ford coun­cil leader Paul Clokie said: “The pavil­ion looks like it has been de­signed by Pi­casso.”

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the pavil­ion was pro­vided in a re­port for the com­mit­tee, made of mem­bers of Kent County Coun­cil and Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil.

But the re­port said that the detailed de­sign was still be­ing de­vel­oped to re­fine it and to es­tab­lish a cost­ing for the work.

Re­port au­thor Jamie Wat­son said: “The de­sign team is in the process of defin­ing the spe­cific ma­te­ri­als, colour and fin­ish of the struc­ture.”

Coun­cil­lors agreed to ac­cept the re­port but raise their con­cerns about the pavil­ion.

Vic­to­ria Square is a planned new pub­lic square next to Vic­to­ria Road Pri­mary School.

It is part of the de­vel­op­ment of Vic­to­ria Way, the new road link- ing Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional Sta­tion with the A28 Chart Road.

The pavil­ion will pro­vide a shel­ter for par­ents wait­ing to col­lect their chil­dren from school and could also be used as a wait­ing area for the fu­ture Smartlink bus ser­vice.

The whole Vic­to­ria Way project is ex­pected to be fin­ished by 2021 and is es­ti­mated to cost £16.5 mil­lion, with the gov­ern­ment fi­nanc­ing it. The pavil­ion it­self has not yet been costed.

The project is led by Kent County Coun­cil and in­volves Ash­ford’s Fu­ture.

Andy Phillips, head of trans­port for Ash­ford’s Fu­ture, said: “We wel­come mem­bers’ in­put to the de­signs for the new square and shel­ter, and will en­sure the de­sign team will take this into ac­count.

“The new Vic­to­ria Square needs to be well de­signed and of a stan­dard that will last, but this must not come at a high price.

“We must also recog­nise that de­vel­op­ment will be go­ing on around the square for some time, there­fore we need to pro­vide some tem­po­rary edges to help en­close the space.

“This is a chal­lenge for the de­sign team, but we are de­ter­mined to get the bal­ance right.”

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, Kent TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@t hek­m­group.co.uk

The Vic­to­ria Way pavil­ion, which has been crit­i­cised by Ash­ford coun­cil­lors

Pic­tures : Gary Browne PD1575702

Ash­ford shared space street fur­ni­ture al­ready in­cludes The Bolt (£13,000)

PD1575713

One of the stain­less steel rub­bish bins in El­wick Road (£1,500)

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