Planters around what will be the outdoor cafe area
Back in December we reported that BAC was developing an ‘urban park’ on Town Hall Road, which at the time was a barriered-off and rather sad-looking road used mainly for deliveries. It was a bold project that faced various hurdles (they didn’t own all the land, they had many other issues on heir hands, and at the time they didn’t have all the cash either) but we’re very happy to see that work is now well underway.
Several new street trees have been planted right along the length of the street. At this point we may have to disappoint any readers who might be hoping that this work will turn the street in to the sort of lush green wilderness you could lose the dog in if you weren’t careful: it’s simply not possible to do that here, because while Town Hall Road is no longer open to traffic it still has to allow for delivery (and fire!) access, as well as being a right of way – however the street level has been raised to be flush with the pavement, and the many planters that will be used create the park effect are currently being prepared.
One of the more unusual features is the creation of a large planted area on the old raised platform, which had been designed as a sort of viewpoint (but which never really worked). This will house large twisted metal girder that was pulled out of the wreckage of the major fire that destroyed the Great Hall – pictured above. Work here is also underway, with steel edging now in place and wiring installed for some lighting.
The two old phone boxes have been restored and repainted (the ultimate aim is for them to house a garden store and a sink to support volunteers during gardening projects). The pavement in front of the main entrance to BAC, which was made of proper stone but which had become cracked and uneven over the years, has been completely resurfaced with new stone, and the heritage street lights have all been fully restored and got back in to working order (with energy efficient white LED lighting that suits the building better).
All in all – this is progressing really well, and it already looks better than it did before. We very much applaud the imagination and enthusiasm of the team at BAC in making this happen.