RESIDENTS of Bradford on Avon have given a mixed reaction to an exhibition of designs for the town’s Station car park.

Comments ranged from “exciting” and “innovative” to “it’s not always apparent that there’s a lot of underground parking.”

The exhibition of work by 37 students from the University of Bath took place last Friday and Saturday.

The students are all studying for an MSc in Modern Building Design at the university’s Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering.

Local Wiltshire Council ward member, Cllr Sarah Gibson, who is an architect and an external tutor on the course, said: “Each year, students on the course select a site nearby and develop their own ideas into designs for its redevelopment.

“Cllr Simon McNeill-Ritchie and myself invited this year’s students to imagine ways in which the Station car park and surrounding area could be put to better use for the benefit of the local economy.

“The students were given a whole series of options, services and facilities that could be provided on this site and we allowed them to choose the schemes they thought best fitted with the master plan.”

Course co-ordinator Ricardo Codinhoto, said: “The only stipulation was the designs must be compliant with UK regulations in terms of carbon footprint and energy efficiency and their simulations had to demonstrate these elements.”

Ideas submitted ranged from new swimming pools, fitness and healthcare centres, a new library and museum, sheltered housing and an adult education centre, to office and retail hubs, a nursery and centre for elderly care, and new fire and police stations.

Simon Kay, chair of Bradford on Avon Streets Ahead Alliance, said: “The designs are very imaginative and refreshingly different.

“It would be good if some of the local councillors could come and look at the designs and take the best elements to see if they could work in a local context.”

Local resident Sue Crabtree, 69, of Bailey’s Barn, said: “Full marks to the students. A lot of thought has gone into their designs.”

Jeremy Wire, of Frome Road, said: “There are some very innovative designs but it’s not always apparent that there’s a lot of underground parking.”