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Brighton Valley Gardens plans beat Green’s plea
A senior Green councillor has called for a controversial transport master plan to go back out for consultation because designs don’t meet “public aspirations”.
Coun West abstained from the vote on the Valley Gardens scheme stating that the plans did not match with what residents had asked for.
Describing the proposal as “surprising”, he told colleagues: “I don’t believe this outcome meets the public aspiration for less traffic and greater tranquillity, and we have not yet consulted the public on this draft proposal.
“I appreciate it is suggested consultation will take place on aspects of the scheme as they become deliverable, but that is not the same thing.
“I think the public need to be consulted on the whole concept now, before it is adopted and progressed.”
The proposal for the area between The Level and Palace Pier roundabout would see a complete redesign of infrastructure.
Under plans, traffic would be rerouted with buses running on the west side of the gardens and cars to the east.
There would also be a dedicated cycle and bus lane and a tree-lined avenue.
A pedestrianised exhibition space would be created in Marlborough Place. The design, based on Edinburgh’s Grassmarket, would see the road used for events like Brighton Fringe and Festival.
Designers have worked the plans around the area’s existing elm trees which has meant that the road on the east side will eat into the gardens.
Coun West argued that as a result the public’s call for less traffic and greater tranquillity had not been met.
He said: “I believe we can do better with this to create an exciting natural public open space that is world renowned.
“The scheme before us doesn’t, I’m afraid, achieve that, as it is driven by the constraint of being traffic neutral.
“We are all keen to make Valley Gardens more than a series of traffic islands and I’m concerned that we don’t just end up making it a central reservation instead.
“The public must own this vision, we must consult them on it before agreeing to it.”
His call for a final decision to be put back for another public consultation was rejected. Work will start later this year and completed in stages.
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