The Major Sites Group has recently considered and commented on the planning application to develop housing on the caravan site at Baltic Wharf. (Application ref: 21/01331/F). This application is for the erection of residential dwellings (166) including affordable homes, commercial floorspace, integrated car and bicycle parking, refuse storage, landscaping and associated infrastructure and services. The buildings facing the Floating Harbour would be five storeys and a block in the centre of the scheme six storeys.
The Society supports the Council’s policy of meeting the shortfall in the City’s supply of housing particularly affordable housing. We do not take issue, therefore, with the principle of developing this site for housing with some commercial activities adjacent to the quayside walk. However, we do have real concerns about the height and design of the proposal and its impact on the neighbourhood. The Cumberland Road side of the development also requires improvement. We have suggested height reductions of at least one storey for the gabled roofs bordering the east and west side of the site to reduce the impact of the development on the Floating Harbour and improve the relationship with buildings to the east and west.
We have concluded that we cannot support the proposal as it stands. The design of the buildings and public spaces has to be of a very high standard to compensate for the loss of the open feel of the caravan site, to be sensitive to the character of the City Docks Conservation Area and to ensure that valued views across the Floating Harbour are bot compromised.
Civic Society review June 2020