Although the existing building is not considered to be of high architectural significance, options to retain and re-use the existing buildings in part and in full have been fully costed and considered, as well as options to replace the existing buildings in their entirety.
The retail landscape locally has changed fundamentally in recent years. The location cannot support the prime retail space it once did and the existing floor plate does not lend itself to conversion for alternative uses.
It was felt an opportunity existed to create something which improved the setting of the Grade II* listed park, the local road network and relates more positively with the newly constructed Gateway apartments and soon to be constructed Bargate development. Something that improves and encourages walking and ensures public spaces, routes and visual connections through the development to the park and adjacent streets are improved.
We are therefore proposing a high-quality residential development, which responds to the immediate surroundings with landscaped areas across the site.
Redevelopment of whole site with new build residential led development
We are proposing a high-quality residential led development and it
is our intention that the proposals will include:
Approximately 600 new much needed 1, 2 and 3 bedroom homes across three blocks (A, B and C)
PRS properties and Affordable Housing in Block A, through both Registered Providers and Private Providers
New commercial space fronting East St
Storage facilities for cycles
Residents parking spaces
The proposals will also include extensive new landscaping providing shared outdoor space and public realm enhancements at ground level as well as roof level amenity space for residents.
We are seeking to explore ways to deliver Block A for Affordable Housing through both Registered Providers and Private Providers.
Blocks B and C will be offered as PRS (Private Rented Sector) properties where all the properties are built for rent, not sale.
The height of Block A and Block B steps from 6 to 7 and up to 9 storeys. The crescent shaped Block C occupying the northern part of the site is taller, stepping incrementally from east to west from 7 to 9 to 11 to 17 storeys.
Vehicular access to Block A is from St George’s Street, which will lead to an undercroft car park beneath a landscaped deck for cars and cycle storage. The space in the middle of the deck would be a communal amenity for all residents. The proposed opening in the centre of the deck will provide ventilation to the car park below as well as an opening through which the canopy of trees growing from ground level below can project.
There will be two communal entrances that serve each block.
Adjacent to the East Street entrance is a commercial unit that runs the remaining length of the ground floor along East Street.
On the west side of Block A, 4 two storey town houses are proposed.
Block B is arranged around a four sided courtyard formed by two ‘L’ shaped blocks. A commercial space with shop front glazing is proposed at ground level facing East Street.
Undercroft parking for cars is provided beneath a landscaped deck within the courtyard. An opening in the deck allows both ventilation and space for trees to grow from ground level below up though the deck to the open courtyard above. Cycle storage will also be provided for Block B.
Block C is split by a proposed pedestrian route that links the public space at the heart of the development with Houndwell Place.
A residential amenity space is accessed from the proposed external public space to the south of Block C. Undercroft parking is provided beneath the eastern half of the block, accessed from St George’s Street.
Proposed ground floor layout
Proposed level 1 layout
Although the existing building and the proposed replacement differ greatly in terms of their function and massing, a number of key design aspects of the new proposals are derived from the existing building.
The proposed building will be built in yellow buff brick reflecting the existing building. String courses of windows will be coupled vertically in a similar manner to the ribbon windows in the existing building and windows between each group of floors will be off-set slightly.
Improved landscaping and public space was a key driver in the design of these plans.
Several elements have been included in the proposals to ensure the various parts of the plans connect physically and visually.
1. Hogland’s Lane
A spacious entry portal that establishes a positive relationship between Hogland’s Park, the development and the newly created Houndwell Plaza.
2. Houndwell Plaza
Flexible public space designed to support social interaction, respite, events and markets. The spaces accommodate places for rest and natural shade ensuring it is useable all times of the year.
3. Concealed and Integrated Parking
Natural materiality within the car parking space with carefully positioned tree planting softens the public realm feel and ensures a more people friendly environment.
4. Houndwell Place Edge
This natural edge provides a mix of biodiverse planting beds incorporating trees and recessed seating to allow for respite seating areas set back from the pavement.
Proposed landscaping plan