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Plymouth's 'embarrassing eyesores' to be spruced up
1:00pm Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in Devon
Sites in Plymouth’s city centre are to be spruced up as part of a campaign to ‘get Plymouth building’.
Plymouth City Council is launching the campaign to target sites that have declined in appearance and what were once “embarrassing eyesores” will instead have eye-catching designs and illustrations, and new uses.
Over the last few months the council has been working to get site owners to agree to carry out improvement works.
The council said several prominent development sites would be tidied up, and in some instances would see temporary uses introduced as a stop-gap measure, until the market picks up and the sites are redeveloped.
The sites targeted are mainly in and around the city centre and follows on from the recent successful transformation of undeveloped land next to the Drake Shopping Centre, known as the Jigsaw Garden.
Some sites and unoccupied buildings will display colourful artwork, while others may be used to encourage public involvement in the Plymouth Plan.
Mark Lowry, cabinet member for finance and lead member for the Get Plymouth Building project, said: “We’re determined to get Plymouth building and to deliver affordable new housing developments where they are needed.
“We accept that the market is difficult for the construction industry right now, but surely if they want the value of their investments to pay off, it makes sense to stop contributing to the decline in appearance of an area.
“These sites are a constant frustration to those who live or work nearby – it’s creates a poor impression.”
Sites that have been earmarked for action in the first wave include:
- Old Foot Anstey site, Derry Cross – screened with vibrant hoardings and visual improvements to the temporary car park.
- 3 to 12 Mutley Court, North Hill – repainted and shop fronts given vibrant display features Barrack Place, Millbay – screen hoarding with vibrant displays to be put up if no start to development within three months.
- Ground floor of O4 building, the Crescent – empty shop unit occupied or vibrant vinyls applied to the windows to improve appearance.
- Salt Quay, Sutton Harbour – improve recently installed hoardings by adding suitable new vibrant displays Former bus depot site, Laira – improved boundary treatment if no start is made on building work within three months.
The council carried out a review of all the unsightly development sites and other “stalled development” sites are likely to be involved in this initiative as it progresses.
Developers will be asked to pay for some of the improvements and the council warned possible legal action could follow if they refused.