New proposals set to give Aylesbury’s iconic public buildings a new lease of life
A 60 room boutique hotel,32 brand newapartments and anAsian-themed restaurant are just some of theexciting proposals being explored by the County Council forits iconic public buildings in the Waterside North area of Aylesburytown centre.
A range of future options for the buildings, which include theGrade 2* listed former Crown Courtfronting Market Square, Judges Lodgings, the Old County Officesin Walton Street andthe former Police HQ in Exchange Street, are currently beingdeveloped by the County Council.
As well as development that could maximise investment and generate much needed income for the Council, proposals will also focus on preserving the appearance and history of the buildings, many of which have stood for centuries.
Cabinet Member for Resources, John Chilver said he was excited about the range of options to bring the County’s former town centre public buildingsback into viable, commercialuse.
“My responsibility is to make sure we use all our assets as effectively as possible.The buildings we own in thetown centre provide the chance to bringexciting new facilities and employment opportunitiesto benefit Aylesbury’s economy. But, they also mean we can preserve their historyfor future generations to enjoy.
“It’s great that investors can see the huge potential inAylesbury and we are aiming to offer the best possible opportunities for commercial success.For example,we recently refurbished the exterior of Old County Hall and I have just agreed to purchase the Arches Suite, in the corner of Market Square to give additional space to make a hotel proposal more attractive and commercially viable. It’s this type of forward planning that will give us the best future potential for our buildings.”
TheCouncil has already invested in the 98 spaceWaterside North car park, refurbished the old Police HQ ready for restaurant usageand remodelled the former county gaol,home to The Archway Beauty Clinic and Salon. The County Council’s plans will also complementthe currentadjoining Exchange development,in particular by providing new, enhanced pedestrian links with quality landscaping through to Walton Street.
John added, “We are currently in active discussions with a range ofinvestors and operatorsand I am confident we will have some firm proposals to announcein the very near future.”
A full list of the currentproposals are:
1. Former Police HQ building-Refurbishment and use of theproperty as an A3 Food and Beverage/Restaurant unit. Currently in discussion with a restaurant operator for a SE Asian themed bar & grill. Potentially opening August 2018.
2. Old County Offices -Conversion into 32 town centre apartments. Planningapplication submitted.Potential completion August 2019
3.Old County Hall/Crown Court Judges Lodgings and adjoining buildings -Innovative and tasteful conversioninto a 60 room boutique style hotel. Potential opening in March 2020
4.Public area improvements – restyling of thepedestrian link between Walton Street and the new Exchange & Cinema development and the remodelling ofWalton Street including a new taxi rank, quality landscapingandmore pedestrian friendly links to shopping, the theatre and bus/railway stations.
5. Lending Library – Rejuvenation and modernisation of the existingbuilding.
6. The historic listed gaol wall (between cinema and Waterside North car park) – Refurbishment, additional lighting and structural support. Expectedcompletion July 2018.