Competition to transform park on Ann Street closes its entries.

4:12pm Wednesday 29th February 2012

By Emily Noszkay

A European Union funded competition for a design to transform a small park on Ann Street will close its entries today.

The pilot project is part of the Lively Cities programme which aims to strengthen communities by reclaiming public space for public use.

Brighton and Hove city council have taken the opportunity to launch a competition which will allow architects, designers, artists and event programmers to submit a design for the area located opposite St Bartholomew’s church off London Road.

Alan Buck, Head of Brighton and Hove city council’s planning project team, said: “This is a great opportunity for a space in Brighton that wouldn’t usually get touched.”

A commission of up to €50,000 is up for grabs for the design and implementation which is hoped will turn the area into an oasis for local people.

Planning officers from the council will look at the designs and choose 20 to go through to next stage of the competition.

Once they have been chosen a selection panel of experts from the council and members of the local community will choose five designs to be displayed at a public exhibition.

Community groups are heavily involved in the project, including London Road Local Action Team (LAT).

Philip Wells, Chair of London Road LAT, said that they had been involved with the project from the outset.

He said: “We believe that the Ann Street Project has real potential to spark off imagination and creativity in our own city for the benefit of the area, and look forward to a sight of the various entries that are being submitted.”

The public exhibition will create an opportunity for the public to view the five design proposals and vote or comment on the ones they most like.

However, some residents fear that although an effort is being made, nothing will change if other procedures aren’t put in place.

Mr Mcgrandles, who lives opposite the park said: “It will only be an improvement if they police it properly; it’s full of drugs and drunks. They should just turn it into a car park.”

The selection panel will choose a winning design from the shortlist that will go on to be developed by the designers.

This project joins a long list of improvements that the council plans to make to the London Road area after it was identified as a priority regeneration area.

Another part of the community involved in the project is St Bartholomew’s CE Primary school. Amanda Healey, Head of St Bartholomew’s, hopes the project will improve the look of the area.

Mrs Healey said: “As a school we have also tried to improve the approaches to the school by creating a pedestrian entrance with gates commissioned from a local artist. Improvements to the area in St Peter's Street would be the next logical step, and could make the area around the school much more attractive.”

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