Blackfriars and Quayside Regeneration
During the last 18 months, Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucester City Council have been working together with partners to create a Local Development Order (LDO) to kick start the regeneration of the Blackfriars and Quayside area of Gloucester. The council acquired a regeneration grant of 4.13 million from central government and GFirst LEP Gloucestershire Growth Deal 2015 to 2021 in order to revive the Quayside and Blackfriars areas of the city.
Gloucester City planning committee approved the LDO on Tuesday 7 March. This is a big step forward and this approval will help encourage developers to take interest in the area as a development opportunity.
This welcomed part of approval comes soon after City Heart received planning consent in February 2017 to build 295 student units on the Blackfriars car park. Building will begin within the next two months. Both Authorities are committed to working with City Heart as well as a number of other key partners to get the regeneration under way.
Extensive site preparations are ongoing, these include archaeological and ground condition investigations. These works will remove many of the risks associated with development of the City Centre sites and will make development much easier for developers as a significant part of the preparation work will have been completed. A planning application to demolish Quayside House, County Garage, Oxleaze buildng and former Quayprint building was submitted on 9th March 2017 and subject to approval, demolition and site clearance will take place later in the year. These buildings are run down and tired and staff working in Quayside House will be relocated into the newly refurbished office space in Shire Hall.
Both councils’ can now start the process of securing developers for the remaining undeveloped areas of Blackfriars and Quayside.
What is an LDO?
An LDO effectively grants planning permission for specified types of development set out in the Order and accompanying Design Guide.
The adoption of the LDO will enable a simplified planning regime for specified development at the Quayside and Blackfriars site in Gloucester City Centre.
The LDO site
The LDO site comprises approximately 2.9 hectares of land across Quayside adjacent to the River Severn in the western part of the site and Blackfriars in the south eastern part of the site.
A number of designs have been created to showcase what the area could look like once the development has taken place.
What happens next?
Gloucestershire County Council are waiting for the decision to be made on the demolition application.
Shire Hall Refurbishment
As part of the wider regeneration of the Quayside and Blackfriars area, Shire Hall is undergoing some essential work to make it a suitable working environment for staff, including necessary weatherproofing and modernisation.
In conjunction with other energy saving measures, such as natural ventilation and improved temperature control, this work will make Shire Hall one of the greenest buildings in the county.
The redevelopment of Bearlands and recladding of Shire Hall is currently underway. The entire recladding and refurbishment project is expected to take two and a half years to complete.
The demolition of the old magistrates’ court has now been completed and Gloucestershire County Council has received planning permission to replace it with an adults and children’s services hub, creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for service users.
The new building will contribute towards improving the visual statement of the Barbican conservation area in Gloucester.
For safety reasons Barbican Road is now closed to road users for the duration of the project. However, the footpath will remain open to pedestrians.
Artist's impression of Shire Hall (after refurbishment)
Aerial photograph of the LDO site
Artist's impression of the new Adult's and Children's Hub