Relocation, relocation,… removal

Whilst others may be concerned about the disappearance of a cinema from one of the town centre redevelopments, there are other, smaller things that developers would like to remove elsewhere. It seems, if the supporting documents to their planning application are to be believed, that the Outlet Centre has previously been given planning permission for more shop space than their buildings can actually contain. Their proposal to get round this (as opposed to replacing some of the office and other non-retail space) is to remove — or as they put it relocate — the children’s play area.

Erection of a glazed enclosure and removal of existing canopies to provide additional retail area and relocation of the play area.

If you’ve got a spare half hour or so, have a look at their plans, in particular the ones labelled ‘Plan-Play Area Relocation’ and see if you can find where the play area has been relocated to. It is noticeably absent. The drawings do show an anonymous red rectangle on the east side of the centre that might be it, but there is nothing saying so. If it is, then it’s a small fraction of the size of the existing play area.

As an aside, I hope the Outlet Centre’s designers’ ability at building design is much better than their website design, where one has to chase a floating circle around the screen in order to navigate the site. There is an important balance that should be maintained between creativity and practicality. Sadly, it’s one that some architects and designers seem never to learn.