Thursday, 10 February 2011
An underground car-park for Preston Park?
His answer would be to build a vast car park under Preston Park, citing as an example Regency Square. This is hardly an encouraging example. It was built against strong opposition and has only succeeded in nibbling at the parking problem; at the same time turning the Square into a sterile, unattractive space with insufficient top soil to support the vegetation such an open space requires. Such an operation in Preston Park doesn't bear thinking about. The excavation and building works would deny a large area of the park to a generation of youngsters, surely cause the loss of many mature trees, and leave an artificial, unattractive landscape.
The whole idea has strong echos of the 1960's Wilson Wormsley Plan, which proposed an elevated motorway from Preston Circus to the multi-storey car park in Church Street. This would have involved the demolition of 700 houses and devastated the Preston Circus and North Laine areas. Yet, with the benefit of hindsight, one can see that its contribution to alleviating modern traffic problems would have been negligible. To paraphrase Parkinson, "Traffic expands to occupy the space available to it".
Mr Holland obviously takes a great interest in Brighton and has done some good stuff. He sucessfully restored Stanmer House when its prospects looked dire, and saved the Engineerium. Brighton is lucky to have him but this is not one of his better ideas.