A Placecheck was carried out in the Lace Market area of Nottingham in 2012.
These were the findings:
Telling the story about the Lace Market
There are plenty of opportunities to improve this.
If a gable end wall could be found, might it be possible to project images of old photographs and engravings on a rolling cycle; or projected on to the ground from an adjoining building?
No bins or waste should be left on the street.
In all instances traffic signs should be specified to be the smallest size permissible under the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions.
They should be either mounted on existing walls or buildings, or on existing posts or lampposts.
On the whole appearance of the windows of the buildings, by day and by night give a feeling that the area is largely unoccupied.
A shortage of greenspace
There is a shortage of greenspace in the Lace Market area and in particular there is a shortage of grassed areas.
Carefully considered tree planting at focal points or on private land.
There are several sites which are used for parking. These are unattractive, and could be used to provide much needed greenspace, permanent or temporary or developed.
It may be possible to create a diagonal pedestrian route from the south east by the Bang and Olufsen store through two former graveyards – one of which is known as St Mary’s rest garden – to Woolpack lane. The latter is under the management of the council, the former probably so. A route continues across Woolpack lane into Wing Walk.
Property advertising boards
These boards are unattractive and can advertise not opportunity but economic decline.
It is suggested that the council applies for a Regulation 7 Direction to prohibit the erection of estate agents’ advertising boards within the Lace Market, or indeed the entire city centre and elsewhere.
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (CONTROL OF ADVERTISEMENTS) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2007: REGULATION 7: DIRECTION RESTRICTING DEEMED CONSENT
Zero tolerance of neglected property – 215 Orders
Get a production line going here.
Wall at risk of partial collapse on to Malin Hill
There is an extensive area of retaining wall where the pointing has eroded away to the depth of one brick or more. In some parts bricks have already fallen out. This presents a public nuisance, and a hazard to people using Malin Hill and should be addressed urgently
The Lace Market appears almost totally cut off from the eastern side of the city by post-1960s development and heavy, unattractive road construction. It something of a pedestrian no-through route. It might be possible to do something about this over the very long term.
Belward Street – 12,794 vehicles per day
Parliament Street – 23,643 vehicles per day
The possibility of finding pedestrian and cycle routes through the block occupied by the National Ice Centre could be considered. It looks as though there is a route through Dean Street.
It could be very valuable to commission a study on the orbital and one-way road systems in Nottingham, with a view to reducing severance and improving the quality of those parts of the town; noting the high-quality, high-capacity junctions that have been built in Poynton and, this year, Bexley High Street. Poynton is 26k vehicles per day – peak flow 3,000 vehicles per hour. Bexley High Street is slightly less than the Poynton flows.
The essence is that they demonstrate that it is entirely possible to accommodate large traffic flows in a street that looks superb.
The traffic phasing means that it is possible to take daytime photos of Maid Marion way with virtually no traffic.
An area-wide 20 mph limit for the city should be considered: reducing the speed of traffic on the radial roads and on the ring is of great importance, as is improving the attractiveness of these routes. There is an overwhelming trend across the UK for the adoption of total 20 policies.
Entrances to the Lace Market / Creative quarter
Celebrate the Lace Market in the appearance of the tram-stop – currently it looks very much like any of the other tram stops.
At all other entry points there should be some sort of marking.
Make it clear on all entrances that one is entering the Lace Market, using some sort of vertical feature.
Celebrate and identify the Danish Borough
Trace the position of borough palisade, dyke or wall, and mark where it crosses streets – such as by using small studs, or even LED studs (used in some areas, such as Peterborough, for waymarking of cycle routes), or a different surfacing material.
An example is the marking of the position of the old London Bridge.
It might be worth running an event in the Festival of British Archaeology to beat the bounds.
Consider changing the lighting from high pressure sodium to white light – eg metal halide or LED
Consider spotlighting certain buildings or architectural features – eg buildings that close views, or buildings such as the false corner on St Mary’s Lane.
St Mary’s Gate
The derelict 18th-century town house is in a highly visible position within the Lace Market. Its appearance has a dramatic and adverse effect on the amenity of the area.
Repair order or Section 215 order
Spotlighting and some sort of window display. Possibly trompe-l’œil prints, paintings to go over the boarded-up windows to give some idea of the life that could follow if the building were brought into use.
This building would make a wonderful shop or museum, and with brightly lit window displays it would have a dramatically uplifting effect on the Lace Market.
A beautiful building that lies neglected. Repair order, Section 215 order
The theatre – or its remains – an opportunity to celebrate this with a blue plaque if it can be confirmed.
High Pavement is the jewel in the Lace Market, but lifeless. From the pedestrian perspective it is in effect a no-through road.
The Art Gallery does not provide an especially active or interesting frontage.
St Mary’s Churchyard is padlocked, giving a slightly hostile feel to the area. Is it really that dangerous? A visitor might think that the church is heading the same way as the Pitcher and Piano.
Potential to reopen Long Stairs, depending on what lies at the bottom – this could be part of an active travel policy!
There is a private car park at the eastern end which provides great views of the Trent Valley – this is something to protect, and celebrate.
Short Hill, Hollow Stones
An immensely interesting and characterful part of the Lace Market.
It is not really apparent that this is a market place. It seems to be just an area where the pavement is a bit wider.
A buff surfacing material (such as standard anti-skid) could be carried across the street and tramlines – to emphasise the market place
The Art Gallery window contributes to the quality of the space, but on the whole the Art Gallery does not. The lace-patterned cement panelling is too removed from pedestrian view to be easily noticeable.
The unrelieved elevations of the Art Gallery are even worse than the building opposite – it has the form of a scaled-down nuclear power station. The buildings on Middle Hill provide a poor, lifeless gateway to a great city. This is the route for tens of thousands of tram users, and many will form their impression of the city on the basis of what they see.
The building on the western side of the street is an unappealing 1960s monolith, which appears unoccupied or derelict. Panelling could be provided to mark this as a temporary blight; ivy walls are also available in sections, and this route could be turned into a wholly green entrance to the city – flanked by living walls.
Eg Birmingham New Street railway station – temporary works
Kings Cross central spine route – fine-art hoardings
A landscaping and tree-planting scheme could be designed and implemented
Loading /parking bays
These intrude too much into the footway area.
It would be better to use a reinforced footway that drivers can overrun – see Camden High Street, Walworth Road etc
Footway should be continued level across
Entrance to Fletcher Gate car park
Entrance to Warser Gate
Junction of Warser Gate, Victoria Street and Fletcher Street
There are many attractive buildings here: the area needs to be decluttered and the quality of shopfronts improved
Mount street lights on buildings
Eliminate as many traffic signs as possible, and reduce in size; mount on buildings rather than separate galvanised posts
Address poor-quality fascia panels
The Sainsbury’s fascia panels damage a particularly attractive building, and give the area the feel of a poor-quality shopping centre
Noted that there is an 18th-century town house with square windows on the third floor and international-style windows on the second (or is that second and first!)
This lane contains underutilised developable land if the building line were to be brought back to something like the building line on the northern side of the street that was place in the Victorian period and early 20th century
The Arkwright building could be spotlight and blue plaqued. It will be visible from the main road and would help to improve the quality of that route.
The building line could be followed from the Arkwright building, with setbacks used either for right-angled parking, or preferably grassed greenspace, which is in short supply in the Lace Market.
Some of the ‘pends’, as they would call them in Scotland, reveal neglect and abandonment.