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In 1943, one of the country’s leading architect/planners, Professor Patrick Abercrombie and James Paton Watson, a city engineer and surveyor, produced a proposal called ‘A Plan For Plymouth’. They outlined how they thought the city centre should evolve, post the Blitz.
The original scheme proposed a new Armada Way, which would be a kilometre long processional, pedestrianised tree-lined route for the people of Plymouth, running directly through the commercial centre, bisected by the smaller streets of the grid.
The idea was that visitors arriving by rail would have a clear route into the city centre along this key axis, with the view to the Hoe and the memorial as a constantly visible landmark.
Because the original post-war regeneration and removing all the Blitz damaged buildings took so long, the original simple vision was lost. The last major update in the city centre was in the 1980s and took little account of this vision.
The new proposal, which is currently out for public consultation, seeks to mirror the original design.
Local historian, Chris Robinson is an expert in the history of Plymouth and has written a number of books about the city centre. In a recent video he praised the Council on their current designs. He said: “What’s brilliant is that the vision in this new design is as good as, if not better than the original. We can create something that leads people in a direct line, from the train station all the way to the war memorial".
To see the proposals and have your say online, go to: Let's Talk Armada Way
To hear about the history of Plymouth's path to the sound from Chris Robinson, Local Plymouth historian go to: The history of Plymouth's path to the sound
To read the full press release from Plymouth City Council go to: Armada Way design is homage to the past
Posted on 7th November 2023