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Gloucestershire Business News

1,200 people give Cotswold District Council views on car park design: Council decides NOTHING

Heard the joke about the council that held a public consultation in order to eliminate one of three designs for a new car park and completely failed to achieve their aim?

Well, step forward Cotswold District Council and give yourself a big pat on the back for asking more than 1,000 people their opinions and deciding absolutely nothing.

More than 1,200 people passed judgement on the three proposed designs for the Waterloo Car Park during a consultation but it hasn't helped Cotswold District Council pick a winner, or loser.

The public were shown three shortlisted designs, rather grandly called 'Wooden Weave', 'Hare and Mosaic' and 'Aluminium on Stone', and voted on which they preferred and which they hated.

But in pure reality TV language and without a hint of irony at the ridiculousness of the situation the council have said there was: "no clear steer on which architect should leave the competition."

Thankfully, there was at least an overwhelming consensus that there should be a new car park in Cirencester, with 83 per cent of those asked approving what the council call a "decked car park."

Quite why the universally-used term multi-storey wasn't used is anyone's guess?

The simple yes or no question at least gave some clarity over the 'decked' operation with an overwhelming yes. The same could not be said for the design deliberations.

Instead of asking residents which design they preferred (simple) they were asked to rank their preference on a points system.

Three points were awarded for the first choice, two for second and one for third (complicated) and the results spewed out were completely inconclusive.

For the record the Wooden Weave was the winner with 2,297 points, Aluminium on Stone came second on 1,852 with Hare and Mosaic third on 1,794.

Despite more than 300 points separating the top two and 500 top to bottom - the council in their wisdom (or lack of, you decide) believe there is no clear winner or loser.

Group manager of the commissioning, leadership and management team Claire Locke did her best to explain the situation.

"We would first like to say a big thank you to all the people who took the time to give us their views on the proposed designs," she said.

"We are delighted by the response and very pleased that more than four out of every five voters were in favour of a decked car park in Cirencester.

"Our aim in seeking public opinion was to help us to eliminate one of the designs to bring the shortlist down to two.

"However, as there was considerable support for each one, our project team will continue to work closely with our specialist consultants and get more technical detail from the architects

"There were many excellent points raised and comments made by the public and these will be included in our next discussions with the architects.

"This may well lead to modified designs and once we have more in-depth detail on the technical elements we will be in a better position to select the final two from which we will appoint a winner, hopefully, in September."

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