Plans submitted to convert Gloucester Prison into 204 new apartments, with glassed viewing platform for 12th Century castle remains

Plans to transform the redundant Gloucester Prison site into 204 new apartments have been submitted by multi award-winning heritage specialist City & Country. 

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The plans include a café/heritage centre, while residents and visitors will also be able to view remains associated with the 12th century Gloucester Castle keep, thanks to a glassed viewing platform located within a new garden courtyard. 

Commenting on the proposals, Richard Winsborough, Associate Director of Planning at City & Country, said:

“After extensive public consultation and archaeological preparatory work, we’re hugely excited to formally submit our proposals to restore and convert Gloucester Prison into a fantastic city centre scheme that will provide over 200 new homes alongside a heritage centre. As a business we embrace heritage, and a key feature of the plans is a glassed ground-level viewing platform above the fascinating 12th century castle remains, allowing the public to enjoy this significant archaeological discovery.

“The amount of interest in the restoration of the site has been incredible and has helped mould our proposals into those now submitted to Gloucester City Council. We believe the prison site has the potential to play a significant role in the wider regeneration taking place throughout Blackfriars.”

40 of the new apartments will be located within the listed prison buildings, with 164 located in seven new buildings. The plans include one, two and three bedroom apartments. 

Under the proposals, the former A and B prison wings will be imaginatively converted into apartments, while the former chapel, gatehouse, governor’s house and debtor’s prison will also be transformed into residential accommodation. 

The new apartment buildings have been designed to complement the historic buildings, and the materials used to build these will blend with the red brick that characterises the site. 

A new entrance to the site off Barrack Square will be created, with pedestrian access points from The Quay, Barrack Square and Barbican Way. 

Extensive landscaping will feature throughout the development, including a range of new trees surrounding the site’s perimeter, creating a “walled garden” effect. 

City & Country’s plans were temporarily halted last year to allow archaeological works to proceed which culminated in the discovery of the 12th century castle keep and footings of the original Blackburn Gaol. Since then City & Country has worked on designs to incorporate these discoveries into the final proposals, allowing residents and visitors an opportunity to view an important element of Gloucester’s architectural past.

While the planning application is considered, City & Country is holding an Information Session to give members of the public the opportunity to view the submitted plans and talk through details of the application with the development team.  

The information session will be held on Tuesday 18 July in the Visitor Centre in the Admin Block at the former prison from 3pm-7pm, accessed off Barrack Square.

There will unfortunately be no access to the prison or grounds during the session.

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