New swimming pool, library and gym form centre of plans to regenerate Greater Manchester town centre
However there was an outcry over some of the designs for the hub.
Designs for a new ‘flagship’ civic building at the heart of the regeneration of Radcliffe have been pulled after a furious public backlash.
Earlier this week, Bury Council released computer generated images of the proposed Radcliffe Hub, which will house the town’s swimming pool, indoor sport and leisure, library, a café and health facilities.
However, many residents commented that the exterior design of primarily brown metal cladding made the hub ‘look like a prison’ and one dubbed thebuilding ‘the Radcliffe rustbucket’. A previous computer generated image of the building showed most of the exterior of the building glazed with a wider range of colours and a parade of shops and units at ground level.
That design provoked much less public comment when issued. Bury Council have now removed the new images from their website and Facebook page and claim they ‘weren’t consulted’ on the revised images.
They say the architects involved have been instructed to revise the designs ahead of a series of public consultations on the project set to take place in the next few weeks. Most comments about the new design on Facebook were scathing.
One commenter, Scott Fleming, said: “I’ll be at the consultation meeting to tell them exactly what I think of this monstrosity. It offends my eyes which is is ironic because it looks like a place to house offenders.”
Kathy Rice, added: “Looks like a prison.. where are the shops?” And, Carol Kemp, wrote: “I for one hate the new look of ‘HMS Prison – Radcliffe’.”
Bury South MP Christian Wakeford nominated the project ahead of it receiving £20M of Government levelling up funding, which will partially fund the creation of the hub.
This morning he said he supported the public reaction to the new designs.
He said: “Many residents have contacted me regarding the new CGI images of the proposed Radcliffe Hub.
“I want to make it clear that myself and the council weren’t consulted about these changes. I have been informed that the introduction of the cladding the finer details, and the reduction of glazing are simply the architectural consultants interpretation of the brief, and not reflective of decisions and changes instructed.
“Bury Council initially thought the new look and feel was too ‘brutalist’ and following public reaction the architect will be instructed that a revision is required. This is something I support.
“There will now be a revised design, reflective of the public comments and I am informed that this will be available for the consultation events. Public feedback is vital to ensure things like the Radcliffe Hub is a success as part of the regeneration of Radcliffe and our levelling up ambitions.
“I will continue to keep abreast of developments to ensure a democratic, open and transparent process with the people of Radcliffe at the heart of any decision making.”
Radcliffe First councillor, Carol Birchmore, said: “The images of the new external for the hub were on the Bury Council Facebook page, they were in a press release but apparently nobody at the council approved them. Many people from this site commented on the images and they now appear to have been removed from the Council Facebook and website.
“I do hope the council has listened to the comments. It will be a good move for democracy.”