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
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
Ashford shared space street furniture already includes The Bolt (£13,000)
One of the stainless steel rubbish bins in Elwick Road (£1,500)