DC Casebook: Leisure and tourism - Inspector passes siting for tactile model

A free-standing bronze tactile model of a market house in Herefordshire has been allowed after an inspector decided that it would enhance the town's conservation area.

The market house had served as the town hall but had been taken down in the 1850s and rebuilt a short walk away on land adjoining a public park. The grade II* listed structure was the town's finest timber-framed building. It was proposed to site the model on the original position of the market house to encourage tourism.

The model had been designed to be appreciated by blind and sighted people and a plinth had been included to allow wheelchair users easy access. The council feared that it would cause congestion and clutter in front of the bank's impressive Doric arcade. However, the inspector did not consider that it would generate significant numbers of visitors congregating around it.

He remarked that the market house was hardly on the same scale of importance as York Minster, which also features a tactile model. He agreed that placing it elsewhere would fail to explain the historic context. He noted concerns that the model would not stand up to the rigours of late-night life but observed that it had been designed by experts in the field whose offices were close by.

DCS Number 100-069-183

Inspector Tim Belcher; Written representations.

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