Ideas that could bring parts of Plymouth’s foreshore to life along with identifying sites for hotels, housing, improved green spaces, heritage trails and public art are being put forward in a new masterplan for Plymouth’s historic Waterfront.
Wildflower and coastal grass could be planted on the fringe of the Hoe to remove its municipal feel and acknowledge its link with the sea, while on the water’s edge, empty buildings should be opened up.
The suggestions are being put forward in the Plymouth Waterfront Strategic Masterplan prepared by LDA Design who have been jointly commissioned by Plymouth City Council and the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District (BID).
The Waterfront has been identified as such an important area of growth and opportunity for the city that both the Council and the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership wanted a more detailed plan to help direct change and investment.
The Masterplan is being unveiled as part of the massive consultation taking place with colleagues in the South Hams and West Devon through a Joint Local Plan which will guide and co-ordinate development.
It took into account the current revival of coastal towns through food, culture and water sports as well the enduring attraction of staring out to sea and have come with proposals which they hope will cement Plymouth’s reputation as Britain’s Ocean City.
Other suggestions include more co-ordinated promotion of water transport, better access to the fish quay at Sutton Harbour, as well as improved walking and cycling connections between the Waterfront and the City Centre.
Councillor Patrick Nicholson, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Strategic Housing, Transport and Planning, said: “There are some great ideas here, but we want to hear about what the public and businesses think.
“Some ideas are already becoming reality – we are currently finalising details about opening up some empty buildings, for instance, but we want to know if the overall direction we are proposing is right for residents as well as for visitors.
“Plymouth is Britain’s Ocean City and we have an extraordinary Waterfront. Yes, we want more tourists, but we also want to be a successful, working city; one with fishermen, boat-builders and other marine businesses. Getting the balance right – and funding – will be critical to bringing ideas forward.”
Chris Arscott, Chair of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership said: “This is an extremely significant work and a major milestone in Plymouth Waterfront’s regeneration, as it builds on previous area action plans, the Mackay Vision as well as new ideas that have come forward from businesses in the Waterfront area.
“For the past eight months the public and private sector have been working together as partners to develop this plan for investment and regeneration and this is the result. Whilst we already have a stunning Waterfront, our Masterplan proposes additional enhancements to really make the most of Plymouth.”
Proposals outlined in the Masterplan include:
• Armada Way – opening up views to the Hoe, removing clutter and improving the route from the train station to the Waterfront as intended by the Abercrombie Plan.
• Hoe Park and Foreshore – improvements proposed include wildflower and coastal grass being planted along its fringe to remove the municipal feel and acknowledge its link with the sea.
– Better connections between the Hoe and Foreshore, amphitheatre type seating for viewing events and the Sound and a bandstand.
– Improved facilities for swimming and watersports, introducing, for example, pontoons and swim rafts and making better use of empty spaces and historic buildings on the water’s edge.
– Replacing the Dome with a high quality cultural and events building that better links the upper and lower levels of the Hoe.
– New public events space .
• Millbay – the improvements and development here continue and plans include better public access to and around the harbour, new residential, office and leisure retail accommodation and the creation of an attractive boulevard linking the City Centre to the Waterfront.
• City Centre to Sutton Harbour and the Barbican – Ideas include an improved pedestrian route linking the proposed History Centre to the National Marine Aquarium via the City Centre and Barbican. The masterplan also proposes a major new urban village at the east of Sutton Harbour and better public access around the quayside.
• Lock Bridge – the option to replace the structure as a high quality landmark in time for Mayflower 2020.
• Quality Hotel – the site has been bought by the Council for demolition with a view to selling to developers for a world-class, four star luxury hotel.
• Waterfront Walk between Durnford Street and Millbay – plan for route between ferry terminal and Millbay waterfront.
Sarah Gibson, Waterfront Manager said: “The waterfront businesses have worked closely with the Waterfront BID and LDA Design to contribute ideas they want to see happen over the next 16 years or so.
“We want to know if these ideas have public backing so that we can be confident of success when we submit funding bids. Our Waterfront is amazing and there are some incredible ideas to make it even better – for residents, businesses and visitors. “We want to know what public think and get behind these ideas.”
To comment on the Plymouth Waterfront Strategic Masterplan’s direction and ideas visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/plymouthplan