Major redevelopment of former prison gets go-ahead

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Plans to convert the former Gloucester Prison into 202 apartments were unanimously approved by Gloucester city councillors last night.

The City & Country scheme will see the listed buildings restored and converted to residential use, alongside seven new apartment buildings, plus a café/heritage centre located in the listed Chapel Wing.

This space will provide an opportunity for the public to enjoy the buildings, ensuring their historical importance is embraced by future generations.

Another significant heritage element of the development of the development is the creation of a glazed ground-floor viewing platform above the 12th century Castle Keep that was discovered during original archaeological works. This clever feature will allow both residents and the public to view the important discovery.

The development will comprise one, two and three-bedroom properties, with 164 of the apartments located in the seven new buildings. Attractive landscape designs will create a series of outdoor spaces and courtyards that will be landscaped with tree planting. Additionally, 114 car parking spaces and 188 cycle parking spaces will also be provided.

The prison’s indomitable perimeter walls will remain principally intact with new openings to provide public access to the site for the first time in history.

Richard Winsborough, Associate Director (Planning) at City & Country, said: “This is a fantastic outcome for Gloucester Prison and for the wider regeneration of the Quayside and Blackfriars area. Working closely with the council, consultees and the community we have developed plans that will create a long-term and viable future use for the prison.

“The historic features of the site are crucial elements of our plans, and thanks to the creation of a heritage space these can be enjoyed by all.”

Gloucester City Council leader Cllr Paul James said: “This is an important step forward for the regeneration of this site and the wider Blackfriars and Quayside area.

“It has taken a huge amount of work to get to this stage and we are fortunate to have a developer for the prison site in City & Country who have the track record and expertise to deal with a complex heritage asset.

“The potential for this site to contribute to the transformation of the city centre is enormous, but it is a long-term project. There is now a lot to do before work can start on site and when it does it will take a number of years to complete.”

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