In late 2022, we undertook a 12 week public consultation on the Royal Hillsborough Public Realm. It included an online consultation and display boards were on display for the first two weeks in Hillsborough Village Centre.
A successful public realm enhances the setting and character of buildings and provides a safe environment for all, including circulation for pedestrians and access for vehicles. In addition the provision of public space provides opportunities for people to relax, take their time enjoying the surroundings and stay longer which supports economic and social sustainability.
Everyone had the opportunity to take part in the consultation.
The feedback has been factored into the finalised plans being submitted as a Planning Application.
Following our detailed analysis and consultation with community groups, stakeholders, residents and businesses it is clear that Royal Hillsborough is a unique charming village. It is considered to be a special and popular place to live, work and visit. The proposed public realm work allows the opportunity to ensure that these characteristics are retained and that sympathetic improvements can be accommodated which will establish a more user-friendly environment.
The village is fortunate to have retained many of its original features which contribute to its distinctive sense of place. However due to the popularity of the village and associated increased demand, pedestrian and vehicular volumes have increased along with associated concerns relating to safety and the character of the village. The proposals detailed on these boards outline what is considered to be the most appropriate balance between, safety, functionality, accessibility and character for the centre of this historic village.
The public realm works
There are a number of elements to this scheme.
Throughout the project area the materials palette will remain consistent. The works will provide a much needed and sympathetic upgrade to the materials of the village centre, also improving safety and functionality for years to come.
Works to be done
New high quality paving will be laid on all footpaths
Upgraded street lighting will replace the existing columns.
Seating will be integrated at key areas throughout the scheme
Provision of new litter bins and cycle stands at appropriate locations
The proposals for the village square will provide:
an improved setting, framing the historic Courthouse with appropriate improvements to the street lighting and the existing surfaces, using natural stone and exposed concrete
car parking has been formalised in the least impactful locations providing for improved pedestrian circulation and accessibility while retaining the current access and loading arrangements
a new footpath around the Courthouse
a dedicated pedestrian crossing at the top of Main Street
raised grass areas with integrated seated edges
This is proposed as a balanced solution that is reflective of the views relating to the historic and residential environment as well as the commercial need.
It will provide an environment which continues to function for all users, while providing character which is sympathetic to the conservation of the village and the buildings within the immediate Square. The formalised parking and continuous footpath around the Courthouse as well as the proposed pedestrian crossing address safety concerns raised while also responding to the increasing footfall
Lower Main Street
Within this area of streetscape there are significant improvements to help access and address safety concerns.
Works to be done
With provision of a dedicated layby for the bus stop the proposals increase footpath width and reduce carriageway width to achieve unobstructed views up main street, improving pedestrian and driver visibility
At St Malachy’s entrance natural stone surfacing and proposed planting will create an enhanced approach and entrance to the church and improve the setting for the War Memorial
The proposals include an open level space around the War Memorial
The Dr Boyd Memorial Garden will retain all the existing natural and architectural heritage sympathetically integrating the use of natural stone paving & seating to improve usability as well as access
Lighting and planting will help provide a place which will feel intentionally distinct from the main street
A seated area surrounded with ornamental planting which will respond to seasonal change from where everyone can sit and enjoy