The developer Umberslade has new plans for the offices on the corner of Cumberland Road and Wapping Road that the image shows. The Society regrets the loss of the unlisted former JS Fry Warehouse. After removal of a roadside wall, the remains of the former goal wall will be in full view and the development will repair it.
The new offices would be built from shipping containers like the successful Cargo 1 and 2 schemes. There is a strong argument that a large, permanent shipping-container development would harm and not enhance the Bristol City Docks Conservation Area. Container development is architectural fashion; containers have no historical association with the Harbour. Container development must have the same long-term life-span as the remainder of the traditionally built Wapping Wharf development. The container-built Cargo 1 and 2 schemes are ‘meanwhile uses’ and will be replaced during the construction of phase 2 of Wapping Wharf. Critical to the lifespan of a container development is maintenance; a factor that depends on the chance of future ownership. In this setting in the Docks Conservation Area the Society would prefer to see the office building constructed from traditional materials.
Unfortunately, the Society cannot support the proposal. The height of the offices would be twice the height of the prison wall and about twice the height of the existing permission. They would harm the setting of the Grade II listed prison wall and the five Grade II buildings that face it across Wapping Road