THE best – and worst – of changes to Chester’s built environment were commemorated at Chester Civic Trust’s fifth annual New Year Honour awards recently.

The event at the trust’s headquarters in Bishop Lloyd’s Palace on Watergate Row was attended by representatives of all the winners, plus members of the trust.

Awards were made for ‘good’, ‘bad’ and even ‘ugly’ changes to the townscape, with nominations sent in by Chester Civic Trust members and judged by a selected panel.

First prize and Chairman’s Special Award was presented to Josh’s Jumps in Queen’s Road, Vicars Cross. Bereaved parents Jo and Steve Easton, together with Great Boughton Parish Council, have provided a ‘splendid’ and well-used BMX track for youngsters in memory of their son Josh.

‘Good’ awards were also presented to the new children’s play area in Edgar’s Field, Handbridge, which was described as ‘an imaginative and exciting play area with high quality landscaping, signage, mosaic and fencing’, and also to the Faulkner bar and kitchen in Hoole. This was described as ‘a successful transformation including new windows which open up the building from the street’.

Highly commended awards were given to the Rhino Mania public art display which took over the city last summer, tree planting on City Road, the renovation of a café and bistro at 71 Brook Street, improvements to the amphitheatre with special mention of the mural and interpretation scheme, new paving on the approach to the Groves from the Old Dee Bridge, and the addition of a bay window to a period home in Upton Park.

Less welcome awards were also made to areas deemed ‘bad’ – the contentious Travelodge hotel at the Northgate roundabout which was described as a ‘lost opportunity’, and broken and uneven paving on Lower Bridge Street.

‘Ugly’ areas were identified as the run-down kiosk on Eastgate Street and new social housing on part of the Gorse Stacks car park which was described as having ‘little architectural merit’ and as ‘a poor addition to the townscape’.