Galliard Homes have shown us a pre-application proposal to redevelop the former Mecca Bingo Hall and Pure Gym warehouse building located between St Philip’s Causeway and Lawrence Hill High Street. 340 new dwellings comprising a mix of town houses and flats are planned. The town houses would be on the eastern and southern boundaries near to existing low rise houses and the flats would be in blocks from 10 to 16 storeys in height on the northern and western peripheries. This would involve the demolition of the warehouse building.
We are supportive of the town houses proposed for the southern and eastern boundaries of the site which are appropriate in height and scale to the nearby low rise houses. However, we cannot support the proposed height of the flats. The cycle path forms a natural edge to the higher development on the northern side and we feel that flats of this height should not extend further south where there is a predominance of low rise buildings. The L-shaped massing is oppressive and the proposed buildings would overbear and possibly over-shadow the group of low-rise houses the other side of the cycle path. These houses are already adjacent to the Kingsmarsh House high-rise block. The Society supports the provision of affordable housing. We understand that the proposal would provide a significant proportion of affordable units and we would also like to see a variety of unit sizes and tenures throughout a residential development.
Public open space would be vital to the success of residential development on this site. Public open space will need a maintenance regime agreed to avoid it falling into poor condition. We understand that the wall adjacent to the proposed landscaped strip at the north east of the site will be breached to allow access to Tenby Street and to the nearby Gaunts Ham Park. We would support this and suggest that further points in the wall could be punched through to allow more surveillance of the open space and play areas.
We have some concerns over the potential exposure of residents in properties which would be adjacent to St Philip’s Causeway to noise and pollution.
Low levels of private parking would be appropriate in view of the bus and rail communications available. The pedestrian link to Lawrence Hill close to the station is very beneficial.