Plans to make Kings Quarter gateway to Gloucester city centre by Kate | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/
Gloucester City Council is proposing to refocus the Kings Quarter redevelopment scheme as the gateway to the city centre, rather than a retail-led scheme. The revised proposals take into account changes in shopping habits and the evolving role of city centres as destinations.
The council commissioned local architects some time ago, after consultation with relevant parties, to undertake masterplanning work for a revised Kings Quarter scheme.
The masterplanning will take into account new plans emerging for the railway station, its car parking and pedestrian connections between the station and the city centre.
The revised King’s Quarter development will deliver a mixed use scheme incorporating a new, high quality multi-storey car park, restaurants, other leisure uses and a limited amount of retail space.
The scheme will also include a new, purpose-built, ground floor indoor market, subject to further consultation with market traders, freeing up the existing site at the Eastgate Centre for redevelopment.
A hotel and residential elements are also being considered as part of the masterplan, which will be refined over the coming months with input from councillors, stakeholders and the public.
There is no significant building planned for Kings Square, which will be enhanced to reflect its role as the most important public space in the city centre, although a new pavilion-style café building will be considered as part of the proposals.
The city council has made important strides towards regeneration of the area over the last year or so by acquiring land needed for the development and by securing government funding for the new bus station, which has now started on site. In addition, important work around archaeology and service diversions has been undertaken. The intention is to follow on with phase two of Kings Quarter as soon as possible after the bus station works are complete, which is scheduled for summer 2017.
City Council Leader Paul James said, “Those who have been calling for us to look at an alternative approach should be reassured that we have been doing just that. I believe the emerging proposals are right for Gloucester for the long-term. I fully understand the frustration that many people have felt over the years with the slow progress of this scheme, but with the bus station now on site and a new masterplan guiding the way forward, we can really start to give this area of Gloucester the transformation it desperately needs.”
Because of legal and commercial reasons, the Council is not able to disclose all of the discussions which have taken place in the background in recent months at this time, but will issue a further statement on the delivery of the project in the near future. The Council is continuing in constructive negotiations with its development partner Stanhope on the best way to deliver the project as quickly as possible.
The Chairman of the Gloucester Regeneration Advisory Board, The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester, said “The Regeneration Advisory Board has been consulted on the progress of the scheme and possible revised regeneration proposals for Kings Quarter. It is time to move on as the influences on development have clearly changed and we are of the view that this is the right way forward for Gloucester which will better reflect the views of local people. It refrains from major development on Kings Square, its proportions are right and it continues the momentum achieved following the demolition of the Golden Egg, land assembly by the Council and the start of the construction of the bus station. This is progress.”
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