Bus Station - chris hilton

The Coach Station Parade ...

This is very much an on-going project as this particular portion of Town tries to resist the creeping gentrification that is the blight of some of our most interesting of spaces.



It's really very difficult to do these images justice on such a small screen. The pictures themselves are stitched together from multiple frames resulting in something that is about eight feet long ... and that's really how they need to be viewed in order to see some of the detail ...


The planning conditions stated that the sloping windows on the Cafe Royal had to be preserved ... they were, in fact, removed!

Apparantly, these days, beyond the wit of a builder to produce and so the planning consultancy working on behalf of Dominos applied for retrospective planning permission ... and members of the Town were asked to comment ... which I did.


I have read a statement by Pegasus that "it was established that the new frames could not be accommodated at the angle required to retain the sloping windows as there would be the potential for a significant risk to the health and safety of passers-by and users of the car park".

This leads me to wonder how much supporting evidence there is for this statement? How many people have had their health or, indeed, their safety violated by the sloping windows of the Cafe Royal over the past sixty odd years?

I would counter that this is an entirely financial proposal as perpendicular windows are a far cheaper option. Coach travel is in decline and one day the adjoining bus station might be gone. If that were the case, then you should still be able to walk past what is now Dominos and see, by the style of the building, that it was obviously a bus station cafe at some point in the past. In its current guise you would have to surmise that it was merely a warehouse or industrial unit ... destroying the fabric of the building has destroyed a little bit of the fabric of the Town itself!

Yes, things change, but that change should be managed in a way that still allows you to read the story of the Town. And the original planning conditions should be respected, especially by a company that has more than enough money to do the job properly.



Mine was one of many voices ... but all to no avail ... the windows stayed straight and the building has stayed as a stark monolith, out of character, out of time and devoid of soul ...

It's rather poignant that the dustcart reads "We Bin a Third of the Food we Buy" ...