The redevelopment of the Lloyds Bank, the Bank of England, and the Norwich Union Buildings site at the west end of Castle Park.
The Society strongly supports the redevelopment of this long-blighted area of out-dated and underused buildings and restored access to areas without current public access and supports the proposed mix of uses. The draft scheme offers several significant planning gains:
- The reinstatement of St Mary-le-Port Street and Adam and Eve Lane would reduce barriers to pedestrian movement between Broadmead, Cabot Circus and Old City.
- Making St. Mary le Port Street and the church ruins the centre of the development would conserve the church ruins and create a new public space.
- Although the scheme does not reduce the width of High Street or Wine Street, it preserves the mature street trees which will please many and strengthens the western edge of the Park that is currently poorly defined.
- The careful design of the pavement level units where human interaction with the development will be greatest. These attractive shop units would enhance the character that St. Nicholas Market gives to the area with its emphasis on supplying a milieu suitable for small and independent businesses.
- The conservation of the medieval vaults and the provision of public access to them is very much welcomed, subject to detailed proposals.
The Society’s response makes several suggestions for the improvement of the scheme, but these should not be seen as reducing the Society’s overall support for the broad principles underpinning the proposed redevelopment.
The Society is concerned about the height of all three buildings and it will be important for the applicant to provide evidence to justify the proposed building heights and to illustrate their visual impact on both near and more distant views. Once this additional information is available the Society will be in a position to make a more considered assessment of the building heights and their suitability, or otherwise.
The Society supports the development of three buildings in different architectural styles. We broadly support the elevational designs but cannot comment any further until we have seen the justified views of the development. There is concern about the views looking east along Corn Street and south along Broad Street.
This is a long awaited proposal and is generating a wide range of different views. In the Society’s view this proposal, subject to satisfactory details in the forthcoming planning application, offers a clear route forward to redevelop this area of dereliction and to provide modern facilities and high quality public realm.
Bristol Civic Society full response.