Competition to design new plantpots for Preston Circus “pocket square”

Posted On 02 Apr 2015 at 1:04 pm

A competition has been launched to design planters for a new “pocket square” outside the Duke of York’s cinema.

The area to be transformed into a "pocket square" outside the Duke of York's Picturehouse

The area to be transformed into a “pocket square” outside the Duke of York’s Picturehouse

The plantpots which once stood outside the cinema are currently calming traffic as part of a controversial trial in Viaduct Road.

Now, Brighton and Hove Council is inviting artists to come up with ideas for new planters to brighten up the area and mark it out as a public space.

And the winning submission will be funded with £4,000 from developer’s contributions for public art in the London Road area.

The brief says: “As part of ongoing works to create a new Pocket Square outside Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Preston Circus, two metal planters, looked after by the local community, have been removed.

“Whilst residents have identified a desire for street planting and greenery in the London Road area, these planters were utilitarian with a negative visual impact/bulk that reduced any aesthetic benefits provided by the plants they contained.”

It adds: “London Road has recently benefitted from an influx of interest and investment, including the arrival of attractions such as the Emporium, re-occupation of the Co-Op and Blockbusters sites and long awaited redevelopment of the Open Market/Francis St.

“A background project has seen Brighton and Hove City Council work with the local community to identify how a modest investment of transport funds could best enhance the street environment.

“The community identified that the investment should focus on a ‘general tidy up’ of the environment … along with enhancement of the area directly outside Duke of York’s Picturehouse (the pocket square) at Preston Circus.”

The existing cycle lane and rails are being removed, and replaced with a shared space for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cycle parking is being relocated onto Stanley Road and Clyde Road, and and the area in front of the cinema resurfaced – with a chocolate-coloured resin bonded stone aggregate.

  1. Bob Reply

    There are some unwanted ones going spare in Viaduct Road.

    No-one asked any of local pedestrians if we wanted a shared space, with cyclists trying to mow us down willy nilly. Removing the safety railings around Preston circus also gives Buses, HGVs and cars a better chance of scoring a child, student or pensioner. Just look at how often the safety railings needed repairing after collisions, and it gives you an idea of how much more dangerous the area is now.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      @Bob – no – you must read the green party policy on transport – this is all part of their master plan to give priority to pedestrians over cyclists, cyclists over buses, and buses over others motorists.

      I don’t understand it either – you think they’d want to protect the pedestrians but they seem to think that allowing pedestrians to walk across roads, wherever they like, whenever they like, without looking improves road safety versus protecting them behind barriers. – of course you need to get traffic moving at a walking pace so they can all stop immediately when someone walks out in front of them.

      You can bet this will be the same approach planned for their grandiose Valley Gardens scheme – typical spend, spend, spend ideology from our green masters – completely lacking in common sense, pragmatism and responsibility.

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