Am l alone in being very disappointed by the recently ‘re-imagined’ Saw Close – an historic open space which lies just inside what was the old city wall.
As part of a recent redevelopment – that has seen the construction of a restaurant, casino and soon-to-open boutique hotel – the space between the old Palace Theatre facade and the Theatre Royal – on the other side – has been paved, stepped and now covered in troughs of plastic foliage.
This was a golden opportunity – with either a small water feature or just a specimen tree – to create another atmospheric public space for people to gather.
But where Kingsmead Square and its central tree, cobblestones and cafe chairs has worked – the Saw Close is a mess.
Benches have been laid out like seats at a bus station. Bike racks occupy even more space in this so-called open area.
Steps were constructed that were so invisible and unsafe – as a potential trip or fall hazard – that the developers had to turn around and put handrails and white lines on the risers to make them usable.
Now – to crown it all – planters have arrived – full of plastic box hedging.
It may be low maintenance but it’s also a new low for a World Heritage city with a reputation for winning national competitions for its floral displays.
Shame on you B&NES for not insisting on a higher-quality – and more imaginative – finish.
This is a missed opportunity to create a new focal point in a city famous for its Georgian iconic spaces.