Architectural lighting, a water feature and a more pedestrian-friendly approach are ideas being considered as part of a proposed revamp of Chester’s Town Hall Square.
Next week a temporary exhibition opens (Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 May) in the Forum Shopping Centre to share concept options to attract investment for improvements to Town Hall Square.
The plan is to create an attractive, high quality, vibrant area for a range of uses.
And the exhibition will be open between 1.30pm and 6.30pm on Wednesday, May 30, and between 8.30am and 1.30pm on Thursday, May 31.
Residents and businesses surrounding Town Hall Square have been invited to the pop up exhibition that is also open to the public where their views will be welcome.
Town Hall Square is the main civic square in Chester with many historic buildings. Improvements will help to support Chester’s status as an international heritage city with the ambition of attracting people during the day and in evening.
And Cheshire West and Chester Council says its investment in Town Hall Square ‘aims to attract further investment from local shops and building owners’.
New designs will allow for a review of the historic street layout that was originally intended to support buildings that now no longer exist. The proposals promote Town Hall Square as a pedestrian and cycle friendly space that still supports vehicles.
Councillor Brian Clarke, cabinet member economic development and infrastructure, said: “We will be sharing two proposals to improve Chester Town hall Square to better combine shopping, al fresco dining, residential and leisure activities. Please come along to one of the drop in days to view the ideas and discuss with the development team.”
Two proposals will be shared with visitors to the exhibition, a traditional and a green approach.
Both options ‘celebrate Storyhouse and the cathedral as attractions’ and review the location of seating and bicycle racks to take advantage of the views of the historic buildings. Architectural lighting of the main buildings is also suggested, to enhance the use of the square during the evening. The introduction of a water feature is also common to both options.
Re-location of both the Stephen Broadbent ‘A Celebration of Chester’ statue and the Annette Yarrow sculpture of a bronze elephant calf are open for discussion.
The council press release states: “The traditional approach suggests vehicle access and loading for services remaining unchanged. However, routes for vehicles would be more discretely marked.
"The green approach suggests introducing a vehicle turning point in the square and including additional planting that will provide alternative solutions for surface water drainage. The new turning point would allow for vehicle access and loading for services, returning to Northgate Street.”
New and improved public spaces at Town Hall Square has been on the agenda for many years and formed part of an earlier version of the Northgate Development.