This presentation from 2010 sets out a phased approach which is massively front loaded – by which I mean most of the costs come in the first phase of c£10.4m . The question I have to ask is why has phase one over the years become the bulk of the project? Looking back at the 2006 proposal two things were considered essential
1) Essential works to the structure and exterior – at c £1.6m – it may be possible to argue with some of the detail of that , but ‘fair enough’ seems a reasonable response
2) External Landscaping (soft and hard) £1,110,000 – now it seems to me that the general populace is getting in and out OK just at present, and that though a bit of sprucing up may be nice in the Square and around the back passage, “essential” is pitching it a bit strong for this work.
One wonders if a long hard look at some of these works, in conjunction with the conservation guardians, English Heritage, might not yield a different perspective?