The Sill project and design team would like to thank members of the Northumberland community and visitors to the area for their thoughts and feedback on the project at this week’s public consultation events at Once Brewed and Jubilee Hall, Rothbury.
Over 50 people joined the team from Northumberland National Park Authority, YHA (England and Wales), Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Architects, Glen Kemp and Cundall at the interactive sessions to share their thoughts and ideas on the look and feel of the planned new Landscape Discovery Centre and Youth Hostel at the Once Brewed site. People also gave their views on the emerging plans for a participation and activity programme to be hosted from the building, as well as the types of local products and services they would like to see being sold there.
Attendees were invited to explore key themes and ideas using a range of visual props, including display boards and models. The process revealed that there is a real emphasis on creating a building that is part of the natural landscape. People were drawn to the idea of a building that invites exploration; a hint that something is happening hidden beneath the surface and a building that has an informal feel and sustainable design with green roofs and natural light. There was an overwhelming preference from members of the public for the use of traditional materials, such as dry stone walling, sedum, timber, grass roof, green wall and heather thatch. The development of the activity programme also focused on exploration of the natural landscape, with wildlife, star trails and exploring emerging as the most popular ideas.
Significantly, these ideas and themes will now feed into the emerging plans for the building design and activity programme, with the updated designs unveiled to members of the public for their feedback at the next consultation event at the Once Brewed Youth Hostel on June 6.
At the follow up event, the project team is also keen to address concerns raised by members of the public which included the current road safety in and around the busy Military Road (B3618). They will also feedback on plans to develop public transport links to support the project’s objectives of encouraging visitors to the rest of Northumberland National Park.
John Riddle, Chairman of Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “We would like to thank everyone who came to our public consultation events this week to share their thoughts and feedback on The Sill. Some great ideas came out of the sessions and this marks a successful start to The Sill’s exciting journey, which we hope local businesses and members of the community will come on with us.
“The local community and its economy are at the heart of The Sill and it is extremely important to us that we listen to their views and try to address any concerns they have. We want to reassure people in the community that we are looking into a wide range of options to ensure we have an appropriate traffic management solution in place, with the safety of our visitors and people who live and work near to the site being our utmost priority.”
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