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Exclusive: New King's Quarter plan unveiled

By citizenmike  |  Posted: May 10, 2014

The King's Quarter plan

Comments (24)

THE first plans of how the new King’s Quarter will look have been revealed exclusively to the Citizen.

The plans include:

  • A reduced number of retail units from 30 to 22 to reflect the economy
  • City centre living on upper floors
  • A smaller but streamlined bus station
  • Restaurants and a small cinema

The current King’s Square will become triangular shaped with a new building in front of The Regal, for shops and a cinema.

A second square will be created on Market Parade, in front of Tesco and Subway. New units home to designer retailers will open around that square, including an anchor tenant.

A planning application will be submitted by developers Stanhope, who have just opened a similar development in Hereford, by the end of the year.

On Tuesday an extra £3million of funding for the new bus station is expected to be approved, which will be the final funding needed to secure the new development.

Aviva own much of the land needed for King’s Quarter. Land transfer negotiations with the firm have now also reached ‘an advanced stage’ according to Gloucester City Council leader Paul James.

Archaeological digs will take place over an eight week period, starting at the end of May, firstly in King’s Square to find the city wall and secondly at the bus station to search for Whitefriars Priory. A temporary museum, exhibiting whatever is found, will open in the former Arkwright’s sweet shop.

After the digs, the Paint Jam street art festival will take place in August.

New paving outside the King’s Square shops may be delayed until after Christmas so that Aviva can re-clad the lower King’s Square shops first in a bid to make the building look more attractive.

Councillor Paul James said: “The reality is that 22 units will be more achievable. Many retailers are expanding abroad and online so it still remains challenging.

“The empty units in the city centre are too small for the kind of retailers we want to attract for King’s Quarter but we have got more chance of filling them if we can get King’s Quarter developed and a bigger footfall in the city centre.”

Attracting the retailers will become easier when planning permission is granted, added Mr James. He said: “Stanhope need to sign up the retailers but they will be in a much better position to do so when they have a firm scheme that has passed through the planning system.”

A ‘detailed’ public consultation will also take place. Mr James added: “When people have waited so long for something it is only right that the public have a chance to shape the plans.”

Barry Leach, chairman of the Gloucester City Centre Community Partnership, said: “I see it as a good starting point. It is a much reduced scheme but it clearly ticks all the boxes that we hoped that it would in terms of delivering more quality shops and more accommodation above.

“The new bus station looks like it has a simpler approach too.

“Now they need to talk to the people in the city and have a firmer view as to the timing of things.”

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  • jas37  |  May 12 2014, 10:12PM

    Jemmywood, Have you managed to forget how you blatantly accused the City Council of favouring the Quays over the City centre? I don't recall you either retracting or explaining that statement and your baffling comments regarding the Home Bargains application (a couple of months ago) were along the same lines. Could I perhaps suggest that you read those earlier posts again and consider whether you still consider them to be accurate in any way? Why do you suggest that Peel would have a "big say" against the EPR layout? Surely the more successful the King's Quarter development the more beneficial this will be for Peel. Increasing the critical mass of the Central area of Gloucester will have a positive affect on the City as a whole. Peel's objection to the Supermarket opposite the Peel centre makes sense to me. Peel have reportedly been trying to attract Ikea and Waitrose to the Peel centre for quite a while. The new supermarket opposite will certainly not help this situation in the future. Do you seriously not consider that Ikea and Waitrose would not have a far more beneficial affect on the City as a whole than another budget (and extremely ugly looking) supermarket?

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  • JemmyWood  |  May 11 2014, 10:41PM

    Tut tut tut, there you go again jas37... Putting words into my mouth. I didnt say ANYTHING along those lines in my post. Once again... Go back and read it. I said what would stop it? Cost... And then you go off on one saying if it was viable they would be building it... Well hang on old son, thats exactly what Iwas getting at. Then you rant on about me saying in my post about some secret pact between peel, the Quays and the Council... Mmmmm i've read my post a few times now, I cant see anything along those lines. What I did say, is that Peel would have something to say about it.... Which I am sure they would considering their history with complaining about stores wanting to open on Bristol Road. Now, go and take a chill pill and calm down... You are getting all excitable again.

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  • jas37  |  May 11 2014, 10:05PM

    gloscityguy, How do you come to the conclusion that Retailers are going to rush to fill the vacant units in the City Centre if there is no new attraction to draw visitors in? ( I recognise T K Maxx would be a start). The suggested scheme would be a major step in the right direction, especially if a top quality Department Store can be recruited as the Anchor. I suggest we go for it asap, no wasted time with extended Public consultation/talking shops,. although I would much prefer to see a Theatre included in place of a Cinema but I recognise funding this may be more difficult.

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  • jas37  |  May 11 2014, 9:53PM

    --Jemmywood, If something along the lines of the EPR outline plan was viable i'm sure someone would be building it by now. Again your comments don't seem to bare any relevance to the actual facts. You appear to have some hang-up regarding some sort of secret relationship between Peel/The Quays and the City Council. Considering that the Quays was held up by over 4 years by Planning delays, the City Council refused permission for Home Bargains to open up at the Peel Centre (for reasons that nobody seems able to give any logical explanation), forced the Quays to remove their advertising Banner even though various buildings in the City have signs and banners that do not have Planning permission displayed for several years (GL1 was a classic example) and It appears that the City Council have been no help at all in Peel's attempt to purchase (and regenerate ) the derelict (and at risk) Baker's Quay buildings. Can you explain how you manage to come to the opposite conclusion that all of the evidence suggests? Could it be some sort of reverse psychology ?

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  • JemmyWood  |  May 11 2014, 5:27PM

    NotThis, that is EXACTLEY what Gloucester needs and it makes the plans shown in this article as doing just the bare minimum. But why would that design never come off? Cost...... And I could also see Peel having a big say against it, as it does what Peel want the Quays to do.

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  • toadhall99  |  May 11 2014, 3:09PM

    Perhaps they should put up all the plans and let the public vote on them

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  • NotThis  |  May 11 2014, 12:30PM

    Google 'EPR Kings Quarter'. That's the scheme we should be going forward with. This one just isn't ambitious enough.

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  • JoftheMead  |  May 10 2014, 6:26PM

    On weekdays I cycle from Northgate St to Station Rd via Spread Eagle Rd and Market Parade. As far as I can tell from the picture this route will be cut off to cyclists. I hope cycle routes are maintained/included.

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  • bdbear  |  May 10 2014, 6:02PM

    Just been on to Stanhopes site for a more detailed look at the plans but they still have the old one up . When will we get a good look at these plans and also at the traffic flow around the center . I cannot see how cars coming down Clarence street can get out , unless the road by the land reg is only going to be one way out of the center , in which case that means alot more up Eastgate street which will mean a lot more parking restrictions to let the traffic flow . I hope the plans can be put up in the old Arkwright shop they are going to be using , and not for a day but for weeks , not hiden away like the old college plans where in the museum at the back . Glad to see Aviva are at last so embarrest about the state of there building they are going to clean them up. When will the work start OH dont tell me Glos is going to be a mass of rubble just as the world cup starts .

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  • gloscityguy  |  May 10 2014, 2:44PM

    I would hate to see buildings taking up half of Kings Square. We have only just taken one down and it has made it a great, though not well used, space. To lose that to build yet another cinema and more shops, though we still have dozens of empty properties in the city centre. Let's look at filling those up first instead of taking away half of the only large public space in Gloucester City.

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