Prison to be­come flats in city cen­tre re­vamp

Western Daily Press - - News -

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

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