Council reports ‘progress’ for Helensburgh CHORD project

New funding has been found to improve shopfronts and provide facilities for young people as part of Helensburgh’s CHORD project.

But the future of the ‘Comet’ lamp standards in the town centre is still unclear, Argyll and Bute Council announced today (Tuesday) .

Ironically, this is in the year that the 200th anniversary of Henry Bell’s historic steamship sailing, with celebratory events being held on both sides of the Clyde.

The 24 lights cost a total of more than £300,000 when they were installed – they are topped with a model of the steamship.

A referendum was held in June, leading to ‘option 3’ – which appeared to involve the least change – being taken forward for Colquhoun Square in Helensburgh.

Today’s statement said the council had enhanced the design ‘in line with what people want’, with bus stops remaining while more flowerbeds, evergreen trees and hedges are added.

But the statement acknowledged that no decision has been made on the Victorian-style street lamps, described as ‘iconic’ by the Comet bicentenary website.

The council says: “They do not provide the right level of illumination and are not energy efficient.

“To reuse any of these lamp standards could be very risky due to the length of time they have been in place, corrosion and repairs needed.

“The lighting for the Colquhoun Square reflects the design brief and would create a friendly gathering place with the potential to hold events.

“It is intended these lighting columns and uplighters would complement the new contemporary design of the square and together will create an attractive, safe and vibrant space.”

CHORD project board chairman James Robb said the final design met the criteria of ‘the people’s choice in the referendum’, adding that the application to amend planning consent had gone through on time despite a very demanding schedule.

He added: “This project should be completed by the summer of 2014, delivering improved roads, pavements and public spaces and a much-needed economic boost for the town.”

The council statement stressed that the following issues raised in comments at the referendum had been addressed:

  • Strengthening the symmetry of the existing square
  • Increased disabled parking spaces directly adjacent to the square
  • More car parking spaces in the CHORD boundary area
  • A new ‘signalised pedestrian crossing’ on West King Street adjacent to Colquhoun Street
  • Retaining the existing monuments in the current position in the square
  • Traffic calming throughout the CHORD boundary area through design and reducing speed limits ( from 30 mph to 20 mph except on West Clyde Street)
  • Improving pavements, roads and car parking surfaces in the CHORD boundary area
  • Enhancing the seafront and ‘consulting with the disabled group and getting letters of support for the design’

More information can be found on the project website.

Just over 1,000 people voted in June’s referendum – less than 12% of the total turnout in those areas in the council elections in early May.

The council statement did not say how much funding had been secured for the shopfront and young people projects.

Latest drawings of the project are due to be revealed, and will be published here when they are released.

1 Comment

  1. What a waste of money! How long is it since they (we) installed these things? 10 years? 12? And now they’re out of date?

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