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.

7 replies to The Aber Masterplan

  1. *watches in horror as his council tax bill spirals out of control* I can’t believe some of those segments you highlighted – consider turning the old College into a boutique hotel? WTF? Moving the train station isn’t exactly a fab idea either as that puts more pressure on park and ride and necessitates that more people use taxies and cars to get there which isn’t very green. The cinema is a total eyesore and probably could use with moving but it ain’t gonna happen. Won’t be able to make the meeting sadly as it clashes with my Japanese evening class but if you go along I expect you’ll tell them to get their heads out of the PR guys ass ^_^

  2. ugh. literally yuck. disgusting. fuck off.

    I want to move back, grow old and ultimately die in that town precisely because it hasn’t been utterly fucked over by greedy developpers purely for the sake of it.

    please go to that meeting and get them to fuck right off. You know how to hypnotise people right?



  3. The cinema is an eyesore because that building’s been there for 30 years and the council won’t give Mike any investment to do it up. They’ll happily use it as an amenity to promote the town but won’t spend any money on it.

  4. Aber master plan, Page 3, Para. 3:

    “[Tourists] partly encouraged by recent improvements to the highways infrastructure, hourly high quality train service and a daily helicopter shuttle link to Birmingham and Cardiff.”

    First the “hourly high quality train service”: are Arriva not doing it anymore?

    Secondly; HELICOPTERS?!?

  5. As for the multistory on Mill Street, it’s been talked about for years- got about 3 letters a year through my door about proposed plans. Maybe something will come of it this time though, I dunno.

  6. “The cinema is an eyesore because that building’s been there for 30 years and the council won’t give Mike any investment to do it up.”

    Er, the cinema is a privately owned and run business – why on earth would the council give them money?


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