The good, the bad and the ugly of Chester featured in The Chester Civic Trust’s 2008 New Year Honours list.
The annual scheme recognises changes made to Chester’s environment, while ‘naming and shaming’ areas that fail to make the grade and is designed to instil community pride in the city’s surroundings.
Nominations ranged from well designed retail or commercial premises, good signage on a heritage trail, public art, new street furniture or lighting.
Other initiatives considered were:
Improvements to the city’s cleanliness and safety
Enhanced quality of public open spaces
Campaigns and initiatives to protect Chester’s heritage
Contributions to the city’s leisure facilities, culture and sport.
Nominations were scrutinised by a panel of Chester Civic Trust members who chose examples they deemed worthy of merit or shaming.
At a ceremony at Bishop Lloyds Palace, Chester Civic Trust chairman Christine Robinson gave her chairman’s special award to the Northgate Ponds public open space project which was described as “well designed, landscaped and maintained, providing an attractive green oasis in a built-up area.”
In The Good category, the trust recognised alterations at Northgate Dental Health including a new building at the back of the practice, on the edge of the canal cutting.
New and distinctive lamp posts in Hough Green were praised together with the play facility in Westminster Park for children.
Commendations were awarded for:
The retention and refurbishment of the traditional frontage to Thorntons, Eastgate Street.
The volunteers who routinely pick litter and maintain the Millennium Cycleway and Footpath along the former railway corridor.
Significant improvements to the woodland in the dingle between Overleigh Road and Curzon Park.
The refurbishment of the former Temperance Hall, George Street.
The glazed foyer linking the Old Steam Mill to new apartments.
Awards for The Bad included
The riverside amenity area along Castle Drive in front of County Hall with “very badly maintained” planting beds and seating.
Weeds and saplings growing from the face of the City Walls, towers and bridges, including the Bridge of Sighs, over the canal.
Asphalt patches in special street surfaces including the Groves, Northgate Street alongside St Peter’s and the Skipton Building Society
Missing cobbles in Greenway Street, Handbridge
Untidy and conspicuous trade waste bins in Frodsham Street, behind Eastgate Street and in Watergate Street where “screening was required.”
Awards for The Ugly included:
The new block of flats on the corner of Countess Way and Gawer Park;
Metal fencing and screening on the City Walls alongside the Grosvenor Hotel
Window design and a temporary wooden ‘fence’ at Strutt & Parker in Lower Bridge Street.