Regeneration plans gather pace
Plans to redevelop the Quayside and Blackfriars areas of Gloucester have taken an exciting step forward.
Following public consultation in the autumn, Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucester City Council are submitting proposals for the redevelopment of the Quayside and Blackfriars areas of the city.
The Local Development Order will be presented to the city council's planning committee for approval in the New Year, and will pave the way for developers to put in planning applications to help reshape the landscape of the city.
In April 2015 funding of £4.13m was secured from central government and the GFirst LEP Gloucestershire Growth Deal 2015 to 2021 to prepare the site ready for redevelopment and to incorporate renewable energy generation into the proposals, helping the Shire Hall offices to become one of the most energy efficient buildings around.
Since the project started, a lot of work has already taken place. Archaeological investigations and site investigations have taken place, as well as the knocking down of disused police cells at the rear of Shire Hall.
So far, proposals have included much needed housing for the city as well as student accommodation for the University of Gloucestershire and other associated facilities.
The development order will be presented to the city council's planning committee in the New Year.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for us to really make a mark on Gloucester city centre.
"Working alongside our partners, including the city council, GFirst LEP and University of Gloucestershire, we want to put Gloucester on the map as a vibrant city.
"These proposals will help us to do that, and see the Blackfriars and Quayside area of Gloucester developed to create opportunities to boost the local economy and attract more visitors."
Cllr Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, said; "The regeneration of this area has eluded the city for decades, but now we have the best opportunity yet to make it happen.
"I'd like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation and gave us their opinions on what they want to see in this part of the city.
"Having a development that meets the aspirations of people in the city is very important to us and I look forward to seeing the regeneration of Blackfriars and Quayside finally come to fruition."
David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, added: "It's great to see the investment from the Gloucestershire Growth Deal start to move forward.
"This area is central to the city, close to both the city centre and the Quays, so the impact will be felt throughout Gloucester. It is really positive to see the LEP, county and city councils working closely together on a transformative masterplan for the whole area."
Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gloucestershire, said: "The University is committed to playing its part in the regeneration of Gloucester. Our plans for an increase of 2,000 students studying at Oxstalls from 2018 will mean additional living accommodation will be required both on campus and in the City, and Blackfriars presents an ideal location for this.
"We have a golden opportunity to transform an eyesore site into a great place to live, enjoying Gloucester's amazing architectural and historic legacy and with easy access to all of the amenities it has to offer. A growing, thriving population of students in the City will bring significant benefits for the economy, culture and nightlife."