Street Record, Kingston Parade, City Centre
The Trust is supportive of open air exhibitions but this proposal raises concerns that the Council has no coherent policy in respect of such exhibitions. Whilst we accept that the proposed exhibition is temporary, it would still have a potentially negative visual and physical impact on the setting and significance of the Abbey and adjacent listed buildings, the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, and the Outstanding Universal Values of the World Heritage Site. It is our view that the exhibition stands, and in particular their illumination, would detract from the ambience of Kingston Parade (as labelled in the location plan but sometimes called Abbey Churchyard) and impinge on important townscape vistas and spatial sequences. In particular we question how these stands will work from a lighting point of view and whether unsightly electrical cables will be run from a nearby building as this will further exacerbate the harm. We question whether a better location exists for this exhibition, such as Kingston Buildings (as labelled in the location plan), which is a central but secondary public space that does not offer long views of the Abbey (views which would be harmed by the current proposed location), or further afield within the city. We urge the case officer to consider asking the applicant to present other less sensitive location options for this display.