Views sought on exciting new lakeside open space in the heart of Southwater

Initial proposals for a new Southwater Square at the heart of the development overlooking Southwater lake and Telford Town Park have been unveiled.

Views sought on exciting new lakeside open space in the heart of Southwater

People’s views are now being sought on the area’s uses. The draft concept designs show an area transformed into a public square with open views across the lake, green and shaded areas, potential event space, fountains and night-time lighting.

Southwater Square will link main attractions in Telford Town Centre together with the award-winning Telford Town Park, provide a new public area in Southwater  to cater for more events and activities and create a natural space  for people to enjoy spending time.

As well as providing an informal open public space, the Council is proposing that the plans for the Square could see this space used for a range of events such as gigs, theatre, outdoor cinema, family events or simply for relaxing or meeting friends and enjoying views across Southwater lake to Telford Town Park.

A short video showing the design concepts for Southwater Square

The Square will extend from outside Southwater One, down Main Street parallel with Wildwood restaurant.

The original plans for Southwater, approved in 2010, were to build a major new council office complex on this area.

The Council, after listening to people’s views, has changed these plans to now keep this area as open public space designed to offer a range of uses and compliment   the existing public realm features including Southwater One building where future lighting could be introduced to develop the design further.

The proposals aim to create a striking, accessible green heart for the destination and highlight the view across Southwater Lake to Telford Town Park.

When Southwater opened in 2014, this area was temporarily grassed ready for further development. However, this grassed space has very poor drainage, limiting its use by the public and for events.

The Council is now seeking people’s views on the sort of activities that they would most like to see the area used for. Anyone can give their views using an online survey or by visiting roadshow displays at Southwater One on 4, 6 and 14 July and at the free Carnival of Giants family event on Saturday 16 July. The survey is also available online until Monday 18 July.

Council Leader Shaun Davies said: "We’ve listened to local people’s views and want to use this space  in a way that keeps it open and where people, meet, relax and enjoy the area.

"This area opposite Wildwood will remain open for people to use, whether it’s meeting friends and having a family picnic or enjoying a show or activity. It’ll give great views towards our award winning Town Park. Proposed features such as a stunning lighting and water fountain, will add even more of a wow factor to the area helping to attract more footfall. 

"The borough already attracts over five million trips a year with visitors spending more than £42 million here – I am sure this iconic space in the heart of Telford will help make our borough even more of an attraction.

"It’s really important we get people’s views on our initial thoughts for this area, so please tell us what you think."

Final designs for Southwater Square shaped by views from the public are due to go to planners for consideration later this summer. Subject to planning permission, work on Southwater Square would begin in Autumn 2016 and be complete by Spring 2017 ready for Telford’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2018.