Argyll and Bute Council is seeking your preference and comment on the two design options designed by TGP Landscape Architects.
The consultation closed on 23rd November 2022.
Further information on the design options
Both of the design iterations acknowledge the retention and protection of the existing stone wall, the various levels restrictions and accesses onto the open space, whilst providing grades that meet the British Standard requirements for accessibility in external spaces. In each iteration, the central pedestrian route is flanked to the west and east by level plateau, which will be retained by low walls and glass railings similar to those seen at the Stafford Street open space. Level access into the commercial units on the eastern side has been designed into the scheme.
The western plateau is designed to provide a multi-purpose open space for a variety of activities, suitable for outdoor dining in the summer, a potential event space or location for small markets and exhibitions. The plateau to the east similarly allows level access into the Crossroads North Argyll unit, by the construction of a shallow ramp and a small planter featuring sensory planting. A larger planter to the north of the open space, adjacent to Combie Street will also incorporate a ‘Totem’ interpretation and way-marking unit.
In both instances, the pathway walls will incorporate low level lighting, drainage to avoid surface water flowing over the area and enhance the south-north flow of pedestrians, using high quality materials throughout. Additional street lighting will be provided and existing Victorian light will be refurbished and converted with more efficient LED luminaires.
Where the two design iterations principally differ, is in the inclusion of access steps on Option 1, which are omitted on Option 2. The purpose of these steps is to allow flow the western plateau area. Pedestrians from Combie Street, who wish to sit on the numerous benches and seats located on the plateau and then progress to the Tesco car park may do so without having to return to the Wool and Needlework Centre access, then double back to the south. The steps are located at the ‘landing’ area on the southern graded section of the path, where the ground at the junction of the main pedestrian route the bottom step is a relatively level section between two ramps.
In comparison, Option 2 does not feature the steps and designers have raised the potential issue that those wishing to access the Tesco Car Park from the plateau seating, may be tempted to jump over the guardrail and land on a ramp. Therefore, to counter this south western planter has been increased in size, the wall extended and the plateau itself reduced in size. This does afford a more limited multi-purpose area, but would limit the height of the drop should users attempt to jump the guardrail or climb over the planter wall.