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'Secret Garden' design chosen for new Blackburn square
THIS is the winning design selected after an international competition for a new public square in Blackburn.
Victoria Square is set to be transformed into a ‘secret garden’ that includes a cherry orchard, picnic benches and a lake after the design by Studio Weave and MESH Partnership was chosen from hundreds of entries.
The design was the winner of Pennine Lancashire Squared competition to get the best landscape architects to create high-profile spaces in the centres of Burnley, Accrington, Blackburn, Bacup, Clitheroe, and Nelson.
A spokesperson for Blackburn with Darwen Council said: “The design team envisaged the landscape by writing an adventure story about a boy who found a mirror on the floor of the shopping centre.
“In the mirror, the boy was transported into a secret landscape garden where the trees enjoyed versions of various playground games.”
Chair of the judging panel, architect Stephen Hodder, said: “The winning scheme is probably one of the most unique proposals for a new urban square in recent times.”
The competition was the brainchild of Yvette Livesey and her late partner Anthony H Wilson.
Bosses will now bid for £3.6million of Northwest Development Agency cash to create the squares in the East Lancashire boroughs.
What the public think
Shardia Patel, 18, a student from Whalley Range, Blackburn, said: “The designers will make it more attractive than it looks on paper. Hopefully it will look more inviting with trees, flowers and benches.”
Suré Whitaker, 24, an administrator of Burnley, said: “It is quite unique to have a town centre park as a square. The design looks very child-like. The area needs sprucing up but I’m not sure if this is it.”
Yasmin Ibrahim, 42, a house-wife, of Preston New Road, Blackburn, said: “It looks like something a child has drawn. I’m also not sure about how safe the lake would be if it wasn’t supervised.”
Tracey Shaw, 38 a children’s services worker, of Helmshore, said: “The current area isn’t much different to how it will look. I think they could have tried to make it more dramatic looking.”
Kolomder Ali, 46, unemployed, of Bastwell Road, Blackburn, said: “It’s really nice. It will be a nice place for the younger generation. The design is very basic though and maybe could have had more detail.”
Patricia Perry, 68 a retired hotelier, of Hurst Green, said: “It really does not look like a secret garden. I can also imagine the lake being dangerous for children and becoming a target for rubbish.”
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