Agenda item

Agenda item

Marlborough Square Update

To receive a verbal update


The Head of Planning and Infrastructure gave a presentation to Members, providing an update on the current plans and position of the development of Marlborough Square. 


Councillor M B Wyatt was happy with the proposed free parking spaces on James Street as he believed it would help to regenerate the area which has struggled since the introduction of the parking charges.  He was also impressed with the designs and the proposal to hold events in the square.  He suggested that the bus shelters be utilised for advertising to generate income.  Overall Councillor M B Wyatt welcomed the proposals and had received good feedback from local businesses and residents.


Councillor M Specht asked how the taxi company had responded to the consultation as the proposals included a significant reduction in parking for taxis during the daytime.  The Head of Planning and Infrastructure confirmed that the response was positive as the peak time for business was in the evening and the bus stops would be available for the taxis during this time.  He added that there was not currently a formal agreement for the taxis to park outside of the rank and this happened predominantly around the driver’s lunch break, therefore alternative arrangements would have to be made by the drivers in future.


Councillor M Specht asked if there were plans for more attractive lighting in the evening to make the area comfortable for people to use, as he felt the current lighting was not appropriate.  The Head of Planning and Infrastructure would discuss the matter further as part of the coming conversations with Leicestershire County Council regarding the cabling required for the scheme.


Councillor J Legrys reported that he had attended one of the engagement events and believed there was no real objection to the proposals.  He asked officers to take note of a number of points that were raised from local residents, one being the desire for the installation of public toilets which he accepted was unlikely, and also the possibility of using the paviours elsewhere in Coalville once they were removed.    He confirmed that there was cross party support for the scheme and he felt it was desperately needed to regenerate the area, although he was personally unconvinced by the proposed timescale for completion.  He also asked officers to seriously consider the road crossing facilities to ensure they were adequate.


Councillor D Everitt enquired into the response of the nursery to the consultation as he is aware of the difficulties at drop off and pick up times.  The Head of Planning and Infrastructure confirmed that there were no objections from the nursery as they believed the free parking spaces available would be utilised by parents.  He added that all of the surrounding businesses who were already engaged with the scheme had supported the proposals.


Councillor P Purver asked if the residents of Margaret Street had been consulted as the proposals would affect their route home.  The Head of Planning and Infrastructure reported that officers had not engaged specifically with Margaret Street residents but he felt that reasonable steps had been taken to raise awareness of the proposals with engagement events, social media and the website.  The Chairman added that as the proposals had been ongoing for twelve months, he felt it would be difficult for local residents to not be aware of the plans.


The Chairman commented that he was one hundred percent behind the proposals but his main concern was the management of public safety at events that could attract a high number of people.  He stressed the importance of having the appropriate risk assessments and plans in place to ensure the safety of the public, especially with the increase in attacks involving vehicles.  Councillor M B Wyatt pointed out that all council events were required to have the appropriate risk assessments undertaken and he was confident that it would form part of the planning process by officers.  The Chairman accepted the comment and asked officers if it was possible for the working party to see the assessment documents.  The Cultural Services Team Manager confirmed that risk assessments were undertaken each year for every event, she also added that regular meetings were held to discuss such matters.  She suggested that due to the nature of the planning process for events and the timing of the working party meetings, it would be more appropriate to share the documents by email rather than at the meetings.  All agreed.


The Chairman thanked the Head of Planning and Infrastructure for his attendance and the update provided.

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