Gungate Consultation Q and As

Questions received with responses are provided in the table below. A final summary of the consultation exercise with the Council’s conclusions and any proposed actions will be published on the website. The date of publication will depend on the level of interest and responses received from the public.

 

No

QUESTION /COMMENT

ANSWER

1

I have only one concern with this development and that is the reallocating of the car park capacity.

The capacity of the Multi Storey Car Park (MSCP) is a major issue but, firstly, it can be stated that new capacity will be provided before the current car parking is developed. There will be no period where car parking is removed before new capacity is provided.

The simplest approach to the number of car parking spaces is to provide like-for-like but there are a number of points that should also be considered:

  1. Increased capacity for leisure centre users
  2. Increased capacity for all-day parking for Tamworth rail commuters
  3. Increased capacity for an increase in visitors to Tamworth
  4. Reduced capacity due to global warming policies (-though this may be affected over time by the shift to electric vehicles)
  5. Reduced capacity to encourage greater use of public transport
  6. Increased capacity by incorporating the car parking at nearby TBC surface car parks so freeing up these car parks for suitable town centre development

As can be seen the capacity of the proposed Multi Storey Car Park (MSCP) is a crucial design issue for the present and, in order to future-proof the MSCP, there will be detailed discussion of this issue when this element of the regeneration programme moves forward.

2

Is hotel use feasible given the likely effect of Covid 19 on the hotel industry?

Despite initial interest from a hotel operator, this use is not now being currently pursued as the market demand for new hotel accommodation is seen as very weak due to the Coronavirus pandemic. However the Council intends to re-visit the hotel market once the pandemic is over.

3

What are the advantages of a Multi-storey Car Park in the north of the site?

The advantages of a northern Multi Storey Car Park (MSCP) location are that the site is currently occupied by large-scale buildings, is next to a main road into the town and is near to the train station. The location also allows a one-way system into and out of the MSCP which will reduce traffic going through the town centre. Any new residential development will also be some distance away from the MSCP.

4

Is a cinema an option?

The financial viability of a cinema was investigated and found to be high risk. Since the financial viability of a new cinema was investigated the Tamworth Odeon cinema has made a significant investment into up-grading into an Odeon Plus Cinema and the Covid 19 pandemic has happened. For these reasons the cinema option is not currently being pursued.

5

Have the Doctors` surgeries in the area been consulted?

Discussions are currently taking place with the Local Clinical Commissioning group to identify the needs and locations for future medical provision within the Borough.
6

How will you achieve what you are looking to achieve if the new owners of the police station do not come on board?

The development and design of the overall area will be guided through a Master-plan. This will inform each individual developer of the general expectations for the site. In addition, the detail and acceptability of any development proposal will be subject to the normal planning process. 
7

Are there issues with the 'Kings Ditch' in terms of archaeology?

The location of the Kings Ditch is shown on the Site Constraints Plan as a green strip identified as early mediaeval town defences. Archaeological investigations will take place before any development affecting the Kings Ditch takes place to determine the remaining level of archaeological value and the potential requirement for mitigating conditions.

8

How do you propose to make people of all ages feel secure enough to use proposed facilities at any time of night or day?

Developing user-friendly and inclusive public open space is a key component of the planning system and there is a wealth of guidance available on how to achieve such. Individual schemes are also developed in close consultation with the Police Architectural Liaison Officer, whose role is to provide detail advice on safety aspects of development.  

9

Behind the police station I thought there was housing (affordable) for people that struggle to pay for a flat/house. Is this being taken over also?

No residential properties are included within the boundary of the Gungate Regeneration area which is the subject of this public consultation.

10

How will access to the back of existing businesses on Lower Gungate car park such as Globe Inn & Corey's Sports Bar be affected?

Detailed design on any new road layout is still to be carried out and one of the guidelines for any detailed design will be to ensure that, as far as possible, access to existing businesses is not affected.

11

The school children from Qems and Rawlett constantly walk through this area to the bus stop, how will we keep children safe? And also the community such as the elderly who are intimidated.

As with the response to question 8, a key component of the planning system is to design user friendly and inclusive public spaces for the entire community.  There are numerous solutions to achieve this, the most feasible of which will be further explored as the development progresses.
12

What about charging points for electric vehicles?   

The council is committed to promoting the provision of charging points for electric vehicles both on-street, in car parks and on private residential properties. Any opportunities that arise will be assessed for their feasibility.

13

Does the 2 way section of Albert Road stretch down to the turning into the new car park?

It looks in the diagram as if Albert Road will become a two-way street, but the text says it would remain a one-way street?

The text is correct: there are no proposals to change the one-way direction on Albert Street. Detailed design of any new road layout is still to be carried out and any changes to highway designations would require a further consultation.

14

Will Bennett’s Taxis be accessible to the public? 

Detailed design of any new road layout is still to be carried out and one of the guidelines for any detailed design will be to ensure that, as far as possible, access to existing businesses is not affected. The approach is to improve accessibility and permeability throughout this area and to the wider area.

15

Will all this for the town stop the regeneration of the castle grounds play area?

There is no link between the Gungate and Future High Street Fund regeneration projects in the town centre with the regeneration of the Castle Grounds play area.
16

Will the existing car park on Lower Gungate remain there? 

The main aim of the Gungate Regeneration Project is to move the surface level car parking into a multi-story car park and to then develop the existing surface level car parks. Consequently, if the Gungate regeneration project proceeds as proposed, the existing Lower Gungate car park currently occupied by the NCP and a Borough Council car park will be developed.

17

There is lots of information and it is not disability friendly in regards the quantity and easy read of it. Can the information be read out loud with technology to support people?

Unfortunately the current pandemic means that only a virtual consultation can be undertaken at the moment. However as virtual consultations are likely to be increasingly used in the future, the question of using technology to make them more disabled-friendly will be considered by Council officers. Alternative versions of the information are available upon request.

18

Is the inclusion of residential properties a requirement for the project to proceed? If so, how much of the area has been agreed to be set aside for residential properties?

The proposal for a mixed use development assumes there will be some element of residential provision. However the quantity and type of residential development has still to be determined.

19

Will the existing buildings be incorporated or completely demolished and a fresh start made?

The current proposals assume that the existing buildings will be demolished. However since the start of the master planning process the Staffordshire Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner has sold the police station and the future of this building will depend on the development proposals of the new owner.
20

Will the ground be stable enough after the demolition in order to keep the work going on schedule?

A desktop study has been carried out on the geotechnical ground condition of the Gungate site. There are no current concerns about the ground condition and the geotechnical suitability of the site for development.
21

Whilst efforts have been made since 2018 with Victoria Road as a 'gateway' into town, the pedestrian route from the Railway Station along Albert Road merits improvement. It is currently not clear to visitors where it leads, and is not very welcoming. Is this to be addressed?

The improvements to Victoria Road work were carried out as part of the Tamworth Gateways project. Albert Road is not included in the Gateways project but should the Gungate site be redeveloped the issue of access along Albert Road will be a major consideration in the redevelopment.