Strand pavilion to be redesigned

controversial plans for a glass-fronted pavilion for the revamped Strand Gardens are being redesigned - because of fears the current proposal will run �300,000 over budget.

The Journal understands that Salterton Road-based Paul Humphries Architects, the original designers, have been asked by county chiefs to rework the plans.

They have been instructed to design a smaller, cheaper building because the current designs will cost 75 per cent more than estimated.

The pavilion plans will be discussed next week by the regeneration board, a closed doors meeting of business people, district, county and town councillors and officers.

Proposals for the glass-fronted pavilion were first mooted in early 2009 - with a projected cost of �400,000. The following year, the plans were revealed to the public, showing the building would be on two levels and house a caf� - sparking anger from rival busineses.

However, Journal sources have said that, shortly after the final plans were rubberstamped by the district council in March this year, there already were concerns the design would go over budget.

The new pavilion is intended to be the final piece of a �3m Strand Garden redevelopment, paid for by the county and district councils.

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But this week, a veil of secrecy hung over the redesign with both councils refusing to give any details on the matter - and with both councils’ spokesmen issuing the same statement:

“Devon County Council and East Devon District Council are still discussing the scheme before proceeding with the proposals.”

Paul Humphries also refused to confirm or deny any redesign. “I am bound by client confidentiality and, therefore, I must refer you back to the county council and district council,” he said.

Sources have added that the new design would still be contemporary with the outside shell, at least in part, made of glass.

In the original design statement, Paul Humphries said the building would house a commercially viable caf�.

Journal sources said that, with the project needing to make a financial return, there was no reason to believe this had changed.

And, because the rear of the building would still back onto Rolle Street, it seemed reasonable a new bus stop would still be incorporated.

However, sources said it was unknown whether the new design would still incorporate a performance stage or be on a split level. The pavilion’s eventual height, mass and footprint were also unknown.

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