The Aber Masterplan

Have you seen the Aber Masterplan yet? The Welsh Development Agency/Welsh Assembly Government/Ceredigion County Council document that takes a SimCity-like approach to planning the future development of Aberystwyth.

No? You oughta. Here: download a copy [PDF].

Town Areas in the Aber Masterplan

It’s got some good bits. Re-routing some of the trunk roads to improve traffic flow and reduce dependence on the older, narrower roads through Llanbadarn and the town centre – good. Better use of Park & Ride schemes and a reorganisation of public transport – good. Reorganising parking spaces, making more space to park in the town centre and prioritising residents’ access to the parking spaces outside their houses – good. Better cycle lanes and cycleway connections – good. You see where I’m coming from.

And it’s got some… other bits. Moving the railway station quarter of a mile up the line and out of the town centre – not so good. Concrete everywhere – umm. Building a stadium – y’what?

A view of New Aberystwyth from the East

The whole thing’s filled with buzzphrases, like “The overall concept for this area is to create a new piece of town commensurate with that achieved in the Victorian period.” But with a bit of work, it’s possible to cut through the cruft and get to the key points of the proposal. Here are some of the more fascinating segments:

  • “Whilst a continuing University function for Old College is desirable, there are also possible complementary uses such as a high quality boutique hotel or art gallery.”
  • “Park Avenue could be developed as a positive, integrated part of town if the railway station was moved east to an area adjacent to the Vale of Rheidol Station.”
  • “Redeveloped football club site as high quality mixed use development developed on a grid pattern.”
  • “Mill Street car park development comprised of multistorey car park and retail units.”
  • “Redevelopment of cinema site.” (hint: it involves persuading the cinema to move elsewhere)

There’s a meeting open to the public in the WAG side of the Technium, on the marina, at 5:30 on Monday 10th December, so if you’d like to ask any questions about the plans, to enthuse or complain, or just to make your voice heard – in fact, if you have any opinion at all about these plans – you should come along and say your piece.

Further reading: Issue 10 of The Cambrian Snooze pokes fun at the Masterplan in it’s own way.