We have responded to the latest Thenet parkway Consultation. Here is a summary of our response:
Q6: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the proposed look of the station and car park?
Strongly disagree. We are very concerned that the siting and massing of the station structure pays little or no regard to its rural setting and in particular to its proximity to the nearby St Augustine’s Cross.
The design is utilitarian and the proposed lift/stairway towers highly obtrusive on the local landscape. We would prefer a lighter and more modern glass design throughout and hope to see a marked improvement in both concept and materials proposed at the planning application stage.
So far no attention has been given to landscaping and here we very much support the views of Lewis White who has been in communication with your team about the need for a properly considered and detailed landscaping plan as part of the overall plan for the complex-- not just green wallpaper! The need for such a plan is critical when consideration is given to the car parking and road access arrangements given the extent of the land required to adequately serve the station.
Q7. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the proposed road access arrangement (two-way single access road with a signalised T-junction from Hengist Way A229)?
Tend to disagree. The new location is only marginally different to that previously proposed by KCC. Road access is still from the westbound carriageway of the Hengist Way but closer to the vehicular tunnel. We have concerns about the proximity to the tunnel and in particular to have both ingress and egress of vehicles from the same point.
We feel that the access and egress design is not yet satisfactorily resolved. A direct link to the (possibly enlarged) existing roundabout to the west would be a safer and more efficient option. This may entail a re-orientation of the car parking to run approximately north-south on the western perimeter of the site and minimising fragmentation of the triangular site as a whole.
Q8. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the proposed car parking facilities (300 long stay parking spaces, dedicated short stay pickup/drop off zone, disabled bays, electric car charging points, parking for motorcycles, taxi rank and cycle storage)?
Neither agree nor disagree. Walk from car park to station too long. Why is the car park not symmetrically related to station entrance? All disabled parking should be located close to the station entrance.
Q11. If you have any other comments on our proposals described in the consultation booklet, please provide them below:
While we support the case for a Parkway station we feel far more thought and attention needs to be given to the overall design and integration of the complex into what is an open and largely rural landscape. This means both hard and soft features of the design, ie built form and landscaping, being considered as a whole.
We have architectural and landscaping expertise on our Forum and would be very happy to meet with the design team to further the development of the final scheme.