The aerial photograph of Aylesbury below shows the project site area indicated by a redline boundary around Kingsbury and Market Square. The site is in the heart of Aylesbury town centre and the Conservation Area. Market Square is a civic space while Kingsbury is a smaller scale gateway to the Old Town.
This is a recent photograph of Kingsbury from the south, looking in the direction of St. Mary's Church. It highlights some of the issues in the space, which include: uneven damaged paving, impact of car parking separating building frontages form the space in the middle, and a predominantly 'hard' environment. However, there are some very handsome buildings around the space, which contributes to a characterful village-like feel.
This is a recent photograph of Market Square from the north, looking towards the Clock Tower and Courts building, on a market day. It shows the main cobbled space, which while being an important heritage feature also causes some accessibility issues. Building frontages have a limited relationship with this central space. The space is surrounded by some very handsome buildings and a number of heritage features such as the War Memorial, Clock Tower, and several statues. Some of these structures are listed.
This is a recent photograph of the space between Kingsbury and Market Square looking east towards Buckingham Street. This area of public realm has a significant amount of visual clutter, which affects its legibility and use. However, this space is circled by some very handsome buildings, at the very heart of Aylesbury, and may have the potential to be more like Seven Dials in London.
The image below shows some of the key policy documents that have led to the project brief including: the Aylesbury Town Centre Plan, the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan, and the Aylesbury Garden Town Masterplan. They consistently highlighted the importance of improving the town centre's public realm. There are some key relevant aspects of each policy document listed below.
The information below summarises how the brief has been developed through the first stages of engagement, which was also carried out through the project website, initially via questionnaires and an online interactive walkabout of the existing spaces.
The outcomes of these surveys were surprisingly consistent across businesses, residents, and other town centre users, in relation to both Kingsbury and Market Square. Your key priorities were: improved quality of space, more planting, and reduced vehicle access.
The key objectives listed below have arisen through the development of the brief, representing a consensus of views from the engagement to date, which is also consistent with key policy. These are: pedestrianisation, green infrastructure, celebrating heritage, creating a safer environment, and supporting businesses.
Key objectives summary
The next section looks at the key concept behind the design proposals - pedestrianisation. You can find out more in Section 2.