A strategic approach to town centre improvements in Newark, Nottinghamshire

A strategic approach to town centre improvements in Newark, Nottinghamshire=The historic streets of Newark have undergone considerable change in recent years. Increasing conflict between vehicles and pedestrians needed to be resolved together with the re-design of street surfaces following removal of through traffic, and enhancement of the environment of the historic core. The implementation of a number of linked schemes has improved accessibility for disabled people and has resulted in the repair, in a sensitive way, of street surfaces throughout the town centre. A variety of different organisations have vested interests, there was a great danger that works could have been carried out in an unco-ordinated and piecemeal fashion with little regard for the historic nature of the town centre. Nottinghamshire County Council, Newark and Sherwood District Council and Newark Town Council therefore endorsed a strategy to guide alterations and improvement works in the historic core so that they would be carried out to a high standard using quality materials ensuring each project would fit together in jigsaw fashion. The Strategy has helped to achieve a high quality floorscape throughout the town, which enhances the setting of the wealth of historic buildings and the character of the Newark Conservation Area. It has helped to create a safe, comfortable and convenient pedestrian environment, which makes provision for all users of the town, and reconciles vehicular/pedestrian conflict in favour of the pedestrian. It provides easy access throughout the town for people with disabilities, whilst making adequate provision for deliveries and provides street surfaces that are robust enough to withstand the pressures put upon them. Experience has shown the importance of getting all interested parties 'on side' at an early stage. In this way everyone is committed to developing a coherent and sustainable strategy using high quality materials that enhance the spaces between the historic buildings. Katharine Wimble Principal Landscape Architect Newark and Sherwood District Council