Austen Miller: An Open Letter to Whitchurch

There has been some negative reaction to the wall on the corner of the chapel. The main concern being that it inhibits the view when exiting Test Road onto London Street.

It is a requirement of planning that the wall exists and why it is as high as it is. Its purpose is to provide bin storage and bicycle parking. Clearly encouraging the use of bicycles is a good thing.

We chose to build a wall in keeping with the chapel and that came with added expense. We have been assured that the wall will, over time, age and blend in more.

It has also been our intention to make the street feel more open by removing all other boundaries and integrating the grounds with the pavement. We have shrunk our boundary to give more access to pedestrians on what has always been a very restrictive path.

In line with this intention we have also asked the town council if they would like to remove clutter from the pedestrian walkway by using the ground we have vacated. This would include making an allowance for BT to site their box off the path and fix the road sign to the wall. As it stands, there is not a lot more that we can do other than ask the council for assistance in making the pathway more suitable for passers by. Therefore, we ask for you to help us by encouraging the local authorities to make this to happen, if you feel that it would be beneficial.

With regards to visibility at the junction of Test Road we are, like the house on the opposite corner, unable to do anything to assist. I would like to say, however, that before the wall there was a very large hedge. This hedge was very invasive of the pedestrian space and equally obstructive to the view of motorists at the junction.

I hope by sharing our thought process the solution will feel less divisive. The chapel has been designed with great expense to be an asset to the high street. I hope that, on the whole, Whitchurch welcomes the effort.

Austen Miller,
3fD Senior Partner and Chapel Architect

How it currently looks – The current street furniture blocks most of the pathway.
How it could look  By moving the green box and road sign we would be able to open up the pathway for pedestrians.



How the chapel used to look with the over-grown hedge.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. H says:

    I’ve not seen or heard any complaints about the wall, and the building looks like it will look fabulous when finished.
    The ongoing problem is with workmen parking their vehicles on the double yellows right up to the junction of test road. This means that when you drive along test road and go round the vehicles you then can’t get over onto the left side of the road to give way. I’ve often been left on the wrong side of the road unable to pull out but also with cars waiting to pull in that can’t because I’m on the wrong side of the road.
    If your workmen could leave enough space for one or even 2 cars at the junction that would help greatly.


  2. S money says:

    I think it looks very smart and in keeping with the building , as both a pedestrian and a car driver myself , just use extra caution when exiting test road and use some common Ameche!


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