Bray town centre - planned urban expansion of sea-side town in County Wicklow

The Bray Town Centre scheme, located in Co Wicklow, just south of Dublin, is a redevelopment of the former 42-acre Bray Golf Club. Planning permission was obtained in 2008. The proposed masterplan is for a planned urban expansion of a sea-side town that sits on the border between Dublin and County Wicklow. It has excellent public transport links via the DART coastal railway and the Luas light railway. It will re-generate the town and allow residential expansion in a new town-centre sea-side community well-served by excellent retail, leisure and local services. A new public park, playing fields, riverside promenade and public plazas are also incorporated in the masterplan. The whole concept allows for development in stand-alone phases and will evolve over a number of years.

The site is low relative to the town, but rather than turning its back on the town there is a high level footbridge from the existing Main Street retail pitch to the upper level of this two-level scheme. The true site level links directly to the train and bus levels thereby creating two genuine ground floor approaches to each main entrance, creating significant pedestrian footfall to both retail levels. Parking is on two levels below. This way the new development is an expansion of the existing retail pitch - rather than an alternative which could lead to a decline in the existing provision. All the new transport links are also able to serve the existing prime pitch.

As opposed to a traditional mall, the centre is conceived as a 'cluster' of town blocks with retail facing inwards from each block and residential and restaurants facing outwards. Retail and local services are in the cross streets. The main leisure uses and hotel are located close to the existing town centre. The streets in between the town blocks are covered with a lightweight transparent ETFE roof which creates a genuine - sense of a covered street.

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