Orpington Walnuts Centre Improvements
Bromley Council in partnership with the GLA (Greater London Authority) have invested in a programme of public realm improvements to The Walnuts Centre Public Realm.
The funding for this work was made available through the council's New homes Bonus top slice and a successful bid to the GLA High Street Fund.
The main focus of the current initiative is on place making and enhancing particularly the pedestrian experience within the town centre. Through a competitive tender exercise, the consultants East Architecture Landscape were employed to develop the concept design envisaged for the public realm.
Their appointment culminated in the stage 1 design report and the stage 2 design report which outlined the priorities and design intent for the public realm respectively. The detail design to implementation stage is been carried out by the council's contractors FM Conway, specifications of which are currently being finalised and due to be made available shortly.
Programme of work
The improvement work started in Summer 2016 with large scale feature signage installed into the public library and a bespoke mural crafted into the leisure centre facade.
The programme of works will continue with plans to upgrade the ground plane, new public realm furniture, new atmospheric lighting, and new feature trees, landscaping and replacing the existing fire escape. However, these works will exclude the edge treatment linking the boundary of the College to the square (as proposed in the design drawings).
On the 25 October 2016, a meeting was held with Rockspring, the current owners of the Walnuts Shopping Centre, to discuss the delivery programme and any potential impact of the physical works on the operation of the Walnuts Shopping Centre.The Walnut Centre owners are keen to tie in a future relaunch of the Walnut street market to coincide with the completion of the public realm square scheme.
The programme of work has indicatively been split into 2 phases. The first phase will focus on the improvements to the College/Market Square and the second phase works plan to tie in the links into the public realm squares from the High Street, Homefield Rise and the Shopping Centre. Completion of the first phase is expected September 2017.
Works are on-going in the first phase with the next stage of implementation due to commence 6 March 2017.
Plans for the scheme will be on display in the Walnuts Leisure Centre reception area from 1 March.