Check out the feedback

Thank you for all your comments so far!

The project is now well underway. We have been busy researching the area and speaking to as many people as possible. From your feedback and our discussions a number of key themes and points are being raised, which we have listed below.

We would love to hear your views on these.

Keep letting us know your thoughts about the space and what you would like to see in the future. We are really grateful for all your feedback and views, and will be taking them into consideration as the project progresses.


1.     Generally, people do not see the space as a day time destination. They rarely visit this part of town or pass through the space quickly without stopping. The evenings see more visitors as a consequence of several large bars, clubs and takeaways.

2.     People feel the space lacks family orientated activity and should provide more for young children. The space is used a lot by students.

3.     Many people have the impression that the space is a ‘no go area ‘during the evening due to the activity associated with the bars, pubs and nightclubs in the local vicinity.

4.     Many people mentioned the empty shop units surrounding the pond and thought that these should be put to better use, (but not as late night bars) so that these could help transform and improve the area.

5.     People were generally in favour of good quality day time cafés, building upon the setting of the pond and possibly being able to sit next to the water.

6.     The vast majority of people that we have heard from feel that the pond has to be retained.  The wildlife it attracts was viewed as important for the space and for families with young children. There were mixed views of how it could be improved overall, but better maintenance was mentioned and most would like to see the water quality improved to enhance its overall appearance.

7.     Respondents were in favour of further planting within Watford, however it was felt that the nearbyCassioburyParkwill provide better amenity value than any ‘green’ that could be offered in this location. Also, many people were very wary of maintenance and longevity implications associated with greening this part of the town.

8.     Respondents were generally positive about this area hosting events – including markets, street entertainment, the possible relocation of the local bandstand and creating a high end café culture. Those who have attended previous organised events such as Watford Live and Imagine Watford expressed satisfaction with these.

9.     People were generally pleased with the recent underpass improvements and felt they were adequate enhancements.

10.  Whilst there is an appreciation of being able to cycle in and through the town centre, a number of people noted that cyclists ride too fast and the cycle lane in its current configuration does not encourage slow cycling which causes conflict between cyclists and pedestrians.

11.  Many were open to the idea of some form of art  but thought the existing feature was not suited to the space or good enough quality,

12.   A lot of people mentioned the history of this area and felt the redesign of the site should reflect and /or interpret this history / heritage aspect of the space.



6 Responses to “Check out the feedback”

  1. 1 Cathy Lynch December 27, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    What! you want more people to come into watford? The Parade once a peaceful part of the town is now swamped with hundreds of collage students, many of whom display the gang mentality behaviour that is intimidating to say the very least. Then we have the homeless. Then in the evening the drunks take over, turning the High Street into a no go area. The traffic problems around Watford are legendary and now the council wish to attract more humans into this most over congested borough.
    Please leave us alone.

  2. 2 Fred January 7, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Miss Lynch has a point, Watford is over populated. Also my I add that this project is a waste of money, my money in fact. I am on the verge of losing my job and my prospects are pretty grim. This money could be used for improving the lives of watford residents not inviting outsiders in. A public space for entertainment, ha, we can occupy ourselves thank you very much. What I have witnessed in so called entertainment in watford has been very poorly attended. Why not maintain our heritage the pond?

    • 3 Colin Jackson January 25, 2012 at 9:05 am

      But outsiders spend cash in Watford’s businesses, who in turn pay their business rates therefore reducing the burden on council tax payers. The Imagine festival was really well attended showed a fantastically positive vision for Watford’s future, a Watford that I would like to live in.

  3. 4 Jill Jenkins January 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I don’t see it as attracting more people into Watford – just improving things for people who already use the space. With the increase in numbers because of the college expansion, it has got busier and more difficult for other pedestrians and cyclists. I would like to see the pond retained as this is an old historical Watford feature but it could be extended and reshaped into something more interesting. The cycle lanes need sorting so that at least they continue to be the same colour and not suddenly change from green to red buried in the pavement that nobody notices. More planting of flower baskets and small shrubs would make it look greener and the trees could be better lit at night.

  4. 5 Colin Jackson January 25, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Jill Jenkins has this right. We need to be positive about this really important area of Watford. If we don’t like the fact that it has become a playground for teenage drinkers, then we need to think about how we open up that space for all to use. Can something be done with licensing to encourage a cafe style environment? People enjoying food and a glass of beer by the pond has a far more civilising effect than herding them into queues where they take half an hour to get into a club, having got tanked up on booze to help them endure the wait. The cycle path is vital, but I agree that it needs changing as pedestrians wander all over it. There seems to be a pedestrian vs. cyclist mentality! Whilst the pond is part of Watford’s history, it does rather get in the way of events like last summer’s ‘Imagine’ festival. I would have thought that a mixture of seating (removable for festivals?) and a reduced pond which allows for more public events would be the way to go. And no more white elephant public art… what is that pointy thing with the colourful sides supposed to be anyway?! Let’s get older people back into Watford on a Friday night in order to calm the atmosphere, rather than declaring it a no-go-zone and giving up. Young people behave better when they are around older generations.

  5. 6 Emma de Souza January 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    A great opportunity to improve the look of this end of the town. While I like the idea of retaining the pond, in its current state it is an eye sore, the water is green and there is always litter floating about. I would love to see a really well maintained pond, perhaps smaller and with a better designed surround or no pond at all. I think a “square” would be an alterntive that would be easily maintained and a relaxing place to sit and watch the world go by as well as a space for performances. An example where this works really well is Clever Square (SE11), the square (rectangle actually) is elegantly bordered with low posts, well positioned trees and benches and the the ground is covered with fine gravel. I’m sure the designers could come up with a contemporary design that would work well for Watford. If this project can influence which businesses take residence at this end of the town I would like to see more family orientated outlets – icecream bar, delicatessant, coffee shop, good qualty gift shop, art gallery and better quality family restaurants.

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