4.12 Visitors were welcomed on arrival and given a brief introduction to the layout of the exhibition by members of the applicant’s team. A signed attendance sheet was present, and 10 visitors were recorded in total, however many more attended but failed to sign in. The overall attendance was estimated to be approximately 80 people with 30 attending on the Friday and 50 on the Saturday.
4.17 The response was broadly positive although some concerns were raised about certain aspects of the development. Whilst not a material planning consideration, one of the main concerns was the council’s investment in the scheme and the move from Stoke given current austerity measures as highlighted in the previous Building B and public realm consultation. There were also a range of opinions concerning the proposed design of the building.
Q1. Please tell use what you think of the scale and design of the second office building proposed as part of the overall Stoke Central Business District?
• Scale of building is appropriate (3)
• Glazed brickwork should definitely be retained in final scheme
• Design, colours, materials and concept of the building is acceptable (4)
• Design of building A is much more appropriate than Building B
• Concerns about street width to building height ratio against existing museum
• Building is extremely ‘ugly’ and old fashioned (6)
• Scale of building is too large (2)
• Unnecessary expenditure on building by the council (9)
• Maintenance of the building would be costly (1)
• Brickwork is bland in comparison to building B (4)
• Concerns that ground floor uses are ‘boring’ and other uses would be more
• Concerns over use of glass and security (i.e. civil unrest/bomb and resilience of
Q2. Additional comments or suggestions you may have about the plans Support
• On the whole supportive of the regeneration of area and concept of CBD (3)
• Retail has potential to provide shops/services currently lacking in Hanley (1)
• Concerns that there are other more pressing priorities that the council should be
spending public funds on in Hanley (2)
• Building should be privately funded not taxpayer financed (3)
• Concerns that there is a lack of occupier interest to finance further development
of scheme (2)
• Council has no mandate to use public finances to fund development (2)
• Concerns over level of parking provision (2)
• Suggestions a design competition should be run to redesign building
4.18 Beyond those that completed the questionnaire, and whilst this cannot be ratified, the attendees to the event were broadly positive about the proposals, albeit verbal comments were received regarding the move from stoke. This is however not a material planning consideration.
4.19 With regard to the comments and concerns stated above, these are addressed by the comprehensive assessments and evaluations submitted with the application, which provide justification for the form and scale of the development.
4.20 The design of the building has evolved from initial concept modelling. The final proposed design has been subject to a rigorous design critique by the project team, Stoke City Council and the Urban Vision Design Review Panel, made up of a number of independent design experts.