Public Consultation: The Results Are In!

19th January 2021

Linen Quarter BID is delighted to share the results following a public consultation on reimagining public realm. Response to proposed plans for a series of initiatives in the District have shown an overwhelming amount of support for urban regeneration and upgrades to public areas. More than 120 people responded to the consultation, with 95% of respondents keen to see better use of public social spaces and only 0.85% strongly opposing any such plans. 91% of those who completed the survey are also in favour of better cycle routes and enhanced pavement space for pedestrians, with 2.56% strongly against a new cycling scheme. The consultation which ran from 13th November – 31st December included 10 questions, with textboxes available for further comment to be made – specifically for those who felt they would be affected by the proposed plans. The survey was also viewed 734 times and received great response on social media.

LQ BID is excited for what the future of the District might look like and keen to share the results which have been summarised below:

 

Public Realm Interventions

 

1. Please highlight to what extent you would support the following interventions: Redesigning aspects of the public realm to support new social spaces?

Number of responses: 117

 

2.A greater focus on dedicated cycle lanes and improved pedestrian routes?

Number of responses: 117

 

3.Removal of some on-street car parking spaces to facilitate social distancing and enhanced pavement space?

Number of responses: 118

 

4.What other public realm improvements would you like to see in the Linen Quarter, e.g. transport improvements/ play features / lighting / planting / art / places to sit and shelter / more pavement space for social distancing / more opportunities for external dining?

Number of responses: 86 Text

Comment made: A more defined spine route linkage for pedestrians coming from the new Transport Hub to the opposite end of the Linen Quarter e.g. pedestrian prioritisation (overland crossing/subway) along a defined east-west route from the Transport Hub.

Comment made: Planting, outdoor seating, make space for children. Bring Belfast businesses onto the streets and push cars out of the city centre.

Comment made: Places to sit and shelter for young people because of our bad weather, many kids in the city like skateboarding but not many skate parks. Maybe try a temporary skate park for the kids. Would love a five a side football pitch in the city with seating for public to sit and watch games. Make street food massive in Belfast make it easier for small food entrepreneurs to start a street food cart, truck or stall anywhere. Outdoor gym in city -free for public, pull up bars etc.. more plants everywhere and on buildings too, and more covered streets because of our weather.

Economic & Social

 

5. “Pop-up” public realm schemes have been proposed at Brunswick Street, Linenhall Street and Adelaide Street: https://linenquarter.org/publicconsultation/

Do you think these schemes will: Improve footfall in the Linen Quarter?

Number of responses: 116

 

 

6.Improve Retail and Hospitality Sales? 

Number of responses: 117

 

 

7.Enhance the status of the Linen Quarter as a place to live, work, visit, or invest?

Number of responses: 117

 

 

8.Please include specific comments on these schemes in the box below:

Number of responses: 42

Comment made: Need to be carefully designed by placemaking professionals with input of residents, businesses and public. (i.e. not just a few cones!). Also, funding needed to sustain events and activities – not simply build and they will come.

Comment made: High streets were in trouble long before Covid – consumers are looking for something more social and experiential and don’t respond to idea their duty to keep something alive that is on knees.  People are curious – develop curious things for them to see and do together – over a cup of coffee or glass of wine – and they will come

Comment made: Try to include native wildflowers as plantations, along with permeable pavements where new designs are being planned. Include rain gardens to separate lanes and around street trees connecting the trees together. Consider sensor lighting to avoid light pollution at night especially with the aim to encourage people to live there.

Equalities Issues

 

9. Do you think any groups would be adversely impacted by these proposals? If so, can you suggest any mitigating factors that would help?

Number of responses: 50

Comment made: On the contrary, it will probably encourage different socio-economic and age groups to get together and interact with each other in the urban public space.

Comment made: Placement of outdoor dining areas and changes to the layout of the footways should be done with consideration for wheelchair users, sight impairments and other accessibility issues (these are wide ranging and including seen and unseen (eg. anxiety, autism, mobility issues).

Comment made: Any work done needs to consider improving the lives of people coming from so many different backgrounds while also accounting for how the local ecology can be protected, supported, and improved. Which will have knock on benefits for the wellbeing of people.

 

10.I am responding as (tick all that apply):

Number of responses: 116
  • Individual who lives or works in the Linen Quarter
  • Organisation based in the Linen Quarter
  • General public (outside Linen Quarter)
  • Private sector
  • 3rd sector or special interest group
  • Public Sector
  • Community representative or elected member

 

Click link below to review results in full:

For further information on any of the above or to make comment, please email chris@linenquarter.org