Report of the Director of the Built Environment
The Sub-Committee considered a report of the Director of the Built Environment presenting detailed design information and costs for Phase 1 of the Greening Cheapside project. The Director of the Built Environment introduced the report and gave a short presentation setting out the two phases of the project and key observations. The recommendation was to approve the proposed design and details set out in the report relating to the budget.
A Member suggested that the plans might benefit from more bins, as the area tended to attract litter and particularly cigarette butts. The area should also be designed to be unattractive to skateboarders.
A Member queried whether there were plans to redesign the exit to the tube station, as the current area was a cluttered design with a busy coffee bar, a map that was often vandalised and a number of street obstructions. The area could be significantly improved if the station building was improved. A Member added that no solution to the existing issues with wayfinding were proposed, although it might not be within the Corporation’s power to change the station building. Members asked that the Phase 2 report be submitted to Streets & Walkways Sub-Committee as well as the Open Spaces & City Gardens Committee.
A Member said that many people may still try to sit on the wall of the plant bed, and suggested making the wall deeper so that the plants were not disturbed. The Member added that he recalled the Corporation had tried to do something about the exit to the station in the past and had decided against it due to cost or another issue. A Member suggested requesting a message giving directions over the PA system within the station.
A Member asked what the anticipated budget for Phase 1B was, and how it was decided to allocate £20,000 to Phase 1B for the architectural design competition.
A Member queried whether people would sit on the stone column seating, whether signage and more cycle parking had been considered. The planter in front of One New Change should also be upgraded.
The Director of the Built Environment responded to the points raised by Members. The budget for the project had been capped and the project rescoped following the prioritisation review. The project would focus on the existing planters. The funding for Phase 1B involved external sponsors with whom discussions were ongoing, and it was hoped this would be agreed by March. The £20,000 allocated would be to support the design competition in conjunction with the City Centre, similar to a number of competitions that had been run recently.
Officers understood Members’ concerns about wayfinding and the station exit, but wholesale changes to the station exit were not possible for structural reasons. TfL were looking at upgrading the station building but the upgrades would be cosmetic.
New signage would be provided for the area as part of the Legible London scheme, and officers would explore options for better visibility. The design of planters to the north and west would be similar to the others in material and seating design. Armrests were also under consideration to increase accessibility. Measures against skateboarding would also be included. The stone columns were included as historic recall in character with the area, and it would be ensured that they were not intrusive. Due to the amount of existing instructions, it was not recommended to add more cycle stands. Whilst the phase of the project relating to the churchyard would be led by the Open Spaces & City Gardens Committee, the report would also be submitted to Streets & Walkways Sub-Committee.
A Member suggested that the map could also be replaced as part of the Legible London scheme.
RESOLVED – That the Streets & Walkways Sub-Committee:
a) Approve the proposed design and the total budget of Phase 1 and total
city funding contribution to Phase 1B at an estimated cost of £380,154
funded from the sources described in Appendix 7, table 3 (including any
related interest or indexation);
b) Note that the £20,000 allocated to Phase 1B will only be utilised subject to the external funding for the implementation of Phase 1B of the project
being secured; and
c) Authorise delegation of budget adjustments between staff costs, works
and fees, and between Phase 1 and Phase 1B to the Chief Officer in
consultation with the Chamberlain Department.