5th September 2019
You may have noticed a few more roadworks around the town centre. Well, a few more than usual.
So what’s going on?
Brighton and Hove City Council is in the middle of renovating Valley Gardens. This is a three-phase plan that will drastically change the area for residents and visiting tourists.
What is Valley Gardens?
The area known as Valley Gardens is made up of twenty-three acres of gardens and lawns. It comprises the green spaces that run between St Peter’s Church and the Palace Pier.
Why is Valley Gardens being renovated?
Firstly, this area has the highest collision rate in the city: 154 crashes in 5 years. And these conditions are especially dangerous for cyclists. But making our roads safer is just one of the project’s aims. These renovations are also looking to:
Improve air quality
Reduce the risk of flooding
Improve access to the seafront
Enhance the area’s public spaces
Create a safer walking and cycling route
Update existing traffic signal equipment
Emphasise the area’s historic character
What’s more, Brighton & Hove City Council predict that renovations will have a significant effect on the land’s value.
How much more valuable is Valley Gardens estimated to become?
B&HCC anticipate that local land values will increase by up to 8%. This estimate was based on the assessment of 53 sites around Valley Gardens (running from north Edward Street to the Sealife Centre in the south).
What are the Council’s plans for Valley Gardens?
B&HCC created this five-minute video explaining how they plan to improve Valley Garden’s appearance and transport links:
But how much will the project cost?
The project will cost around £7.84 million to complete. However, the majority of this (£6 million) will be funded from a central government pot of money called the Local Growth Fund (LGF). The rest of the funding will come from the council’s Local Transport Plan budget, local and - potentially - private sector contributions.
Will these renovations reduce the amount of green space?
Thankfully, no. The idea is to reconnect the green spaces with their surrounding areas. The green areas of Valley Gardens are currently closed and protected behind fences. No trees have been removed, but the plants that were situated in these gardens have been relocated to other areas. For those that are worried about the reduction of green spaces, it’s said that 152 new trees, shrubs and grasses will be planted as part of the project.
When will the works be completed?
Renovations are expected to last around two years. Works started in September 2018 so, hopefully, we’ll see the brand new Valley Gardens in Autumn next year.
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