Prison to become flats in city centre revamp
GLOUCESTER residents are set to see big changes to the city centre after plans for a revamp were approved.
The tired face of King’s Walk shopping centre will be revitalised in a £12 million makeover, with new frontages for shops and a refurbished car park.
And residents will also begin to see people living inside the former Gloucester prison after 200 homes were approved.
City councillors, however, refused the building of 89 homes on an ex-private sports club, formerly known as the Civil Service Sports Ground, off Estcourt Road.
Councillor Gordon Taylor said of the city centre scheme: “It looks quite smart and will make the area look better.”
The last time any major work was carried out on the retail centre was more than 20 years ago. The new development could be completed as early as summer 2020.
A footbridge that houses Heart FM will be demolished. The radio station was the only objector to the plans, arguing that demolition would cause “operational and financial impact” on the business.
A council report said, however, that the “significant benefits” of the development outweighed their concerns.
Proposals to turn Gloucester’s empty prison into 200 flats were reapproved, seven months after the development was first given the goahead.
The application went back to the planning committee because Natural England had to approve an internal council assessment on the potential effects on a nearby conservation area if plans had been approved.
It was signed off again on Tuesday night with Natural England’s endorsement.
Tours of the 224-year-old prison – which held 320 inmates until its closure in 2013 – ended on October 14 due to “operational costs”.
Work there is expected to begin in 2020.
The old Gloucester prison will be redeveloped