Plymouth City Centre: Integrating public space, sustainable mobility and biodiversity for storm water management
Plymouth’s city centre is undergoing redevelopment. A masterplan has been prepared, which identifies key redevelopment opportunities. However, recent cases have shown that lack of drainage for storm water is a constraint to development because of the levels of flood risk. The adjacent public realm offers a solution, and working with developers could bring additional resources to both improve its quality and demonstrate new SuDS approaches.
Plymouth City Council planned a demonstration SuDS across a large area of the city centre’s principal shopping area. Armada Way is the principle thoroughfare and forms a north-south spine to the post-war reconstructed shopping zone. It features gardens, open spaces, and cafe areas. This was to be the focus of the WRC investment.
However, Plymouth City Council has had two changes of political leadership since the start of the WRC project, the last in May 2018. This instability has been a direct barrier to decision-making. Alongside this have been rapidly shifting developments within the city centre regarding delivery of key components of the masterplan. As a result, the City Council will not be delivering the planned demonstration SuDS within the 3 year timeframe of this Interreg project. The merits of the WRC approach are not in doubt. A modification to the project’s investment has therefore been submitted to change the focus of the investment, moving it closer to the sea. The demonstration SuDs will now be at Millbay Boulevard which links the city centre to marina regeneration area and ferry pot. That’s why the Case Studies page show investment 1.2 – Plymouth – Millbay Boulevard!