Q. Where is the development taking place?
A. The development will take place at the top end of the Exchange Street car park between the Odeon cinema and Long Lional (and the arches at the bottom of Market Square).
Q. What’s being built? (image shown is an artists impression)
A. The development is a mixed-use scheme with:
- four new restaurants on the ground floor
- eleven one bedroom/one bathroom and 36 two bedroom/two bathroom apartments on three floors above
- a stunning new public square in the space between the new building and the cinema, Wagamama, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Nando’s, and
- additional, flexible commercial space on the ground floor facing Long Lional
Q. When will the new restaurants open?
A. We expect building work to finish in time for the restaurants to open in November 2018. The apartments will go on sale before then.
Q. Do you know who the new restaurant operators will be? (image shown is an artists impression)
A. AVDC has a target list of operators it's talking to. The choice will complement the existing restaurants in the town and will hopefully match the needs of local people who said that they would like to see a wider choice of family friendly and quality places to eat. (This feedback was supported by an independent study commissioned by AVDC which showed that Aylesbury town centre has significant under provision of restaurants).
Q. What will be in the new square? (images shown are an artists impression)
A. The square is being designed by Bradley Murphy who is public realm architects and paid for from a grant from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP). We want the square to be place where people can sit and enjoy the environment. There will sculpture and points of interest throughout the square to make it special and unique to Aylesbury.
Q. What about the loss of car parking?
A. Around 150 spaces will be taken out permanently by the new development. Some extra spaces will be lost temporarily whilst construction work is underway.
This is necessary to keep the car park safe for users and enable construction traffic to be separated from normal users.
The good news is that the town centre has lots of alternative convenient parking close by, in particular:
Walton Street car park
525 spaces, open 24/7
Pay on exit
Short and long stay bays
Add the postcode HP21 7QX into google maps or your satnav.
Upper Hundreds car park
305 spaces, open 24/7
Pay on exit
Add the postcode HP20 1RS into google maps or your satnav.
For more information about where to park in Aylesbury, check our website:
Q. What's happening to the special parking bays?
A. All disabled bays have been relocated as close to their original position as far as possible. Four market trader van bays have been relocated and four 30 minute parking bays are now positioned at the top end of the car park.
Q. Why does the development have to be on part of the car park?
A. When we asked local people how they would like to see Aylesbury town centre improved, they wanted to see more shops, restaurants, places to live in the heart of the town and more quality open spaces. There are very few places in the town centre where these new facilities can be provided so it was always the intention to develop the old Civic Centre site for retail / commercial use.
The creation of the Exchange Street car park six years ago was a temporary measure to maximise use of the space until needed. Because of the recession it has just taken a bit longer than anticipated to get the right development agreed, but we are pleased this scheme will suit local needs better.
Q. Why aren’t there any new shops as part of the scheme?
A. The retail world is rapidly changing as people shop in different ways, particularly via the internet. AVDC is keen not to build new retail units which mean an existing retailers moving from one part of town to another. So our priority is to make sure that all retail units available across the town are full before we build any more.
Q. Will the rest of the Exchange Street car park be developed?
A. Possibly. AVDC is considering how best to use the rest of the car park but there will not be any more development for at least 2-3 years.
Q. Will there be more car parks in the future?
A. We appreciate how important parking is to the continued success of Aylesbury town and whilst we have enough parking space at the moment, we have commissioned a study to look at future parking demand. We need to take account not only of any more development on Exchange Street car park but also the housing growth planned on the outskirts of the town which will mean more people working and using the town centre.
Q. What else is planned for the town centre? (image shown is an artists impression)
A. Buckinghamshire County Council plan to let the former old Police Station as a restaurant. They also intend to convert the upper floors of the Old County Offices on Walton Street to apartments and use the ground floor for a restaurant and civic use.
An environmental improvement scheme is being developed for Walton Street and a new public square - Walton Square - will help link Walton Street to the new development on the Exchange Street car park.
In recent years, much has been done by both the public and private sector to improve the town centre but there is more to do. The Aylesbury Town Centre Plan sets out a vision for the town and a whole programme of improvement actions.
To find out more go to: www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/aylesbury-town-centre-plan