Kirkgate Centre plans look set to be approved
Last updated at 19:38, Thursday, 05 July 2012
Controversial plans to refurbish Cockermouth’s Kirkgate Centre look set to get the go-ahead.
The centre wants to partly demolish the west and east gables and add modern two-storey extensions, using glass and zinc.
It would house a cafe, bar, reception, toilets, a kitchen, offices and escape stairs.
The design is contemporary, with glass links between old and new parts of the building. A roof covered with sedum plants is proposed, along with solar panels.
The plans have split opinion in the town, with 52 letters of support and 46 letters of objection sent to Allerdale council.
Objectors fear that the revamp would create an ugly structure which would dominate the existing building and surrounding area.
One labelled it a “grandiose scheme driven by capital grants” and another claimed it would have “the aesthetic appeal of shipping containers”.
Concerns have been raised over parking, pedestrian safety and the loss of trees and wildlife.
But supporters have said that the use of a good quality contemporary design was the best way to preserve and enhance the Georgian character of the neighbourhood.
They argue that the centre is a valuable community resource which is restricted by lack of space and needs expansion.
Cockermouth Town Council has objected, stating that the materials, particularly zinc, are out of keeping with the area, and members are concerned about road safety and loss of parking.
The town’s civic trust said design amendments made since the application was first lodged had significantly improved the appearance.
A report to be considered by Allerdale council’s development panel on Tuesday said the plan was distinctive and individual.
The report recommended that the scheme should be approved.
First published at 19:21, Thursday, 05 July 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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