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Railway Triangle's £34m revamp gets green light

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 03, 2011

  • vibrant business environment: Above and below; artist's impressions of the new Morrisons at the railway triangle. Inset: the eyesore site today.

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A £34MILLION transformation is on its way to Gloucester's eyesore Railway Triangle.

The site, off Metz Way, has been derelict for 20 years but will now be home to a new Morrisons supermarket and petrol station after the plans were granted full permission.

A pub, restaurant, takeaways, car showroom and other business units will follow, but detailed plans for them are yet to be heard.

The new supermarket development is welcomed by many as a chance to improve the site, but for others, it kills off any hope of the city getting a new railway station on the site.

Gloucester City Council's planning committee called a special meeting on Thursday night, outside its normal schedule, to discuss the proposals.

Nick Alford, property manager of LXB Properties – the developer behind the plans, said: "We are very excited about this opportunity. It will assist in the revitalisation and regeneration of the wasteland that is the Metz Way triangle and develop a scheme of which we can all be proud."

He said 1,000 jobs will be created at the site and his vision is for a "vibrant business environment as opposed to an industrial trading estate".

Morrisons is set to be a food-only store, allaying fears that it could hit city centre retailers.

Councillor Mary Smith (Lab, Robinswood and Matson) said at the meeting: "The fact is it's going to cost millions and millions to put a railway station on that site – so much so that Network Rail have discounted the idea completely. I know it's not what people want to hear but they are saying categorically they are not interested in building a station there."

Coun Phil McLellan (Lib Dem, Barnwood) added: "Network Rail don't support a new station, the Office of Rail Regulation don't support it, the Department of Transport don't support it.

"I don't think we can whistle in the wind, hoping in a few years' time they will turn around and support it.

"Do I think this is a great application? No. I don't think it's wonderful. I want something impressive for the city. Morrisons won't bring that. But it will create jobs and will give a bit of competition to the other supermarkets."

The meeting heard from several Gloucester residents and campaigners wanting the 30-acre site to be used for a new station. Two petitions and 46 letters backing those calls had been sent to the council too.

Concerns about the impact on wildlife living there, including invertebrates and lizards, were also raised by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

But councillors agreed to approve the plans unanimously, paving the way for work to begin as early as next spring.

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  • SELINA30  |  December 04 2011, 7:16PM

    Another wasted opportunity.

  • jules090371  |  December 04 2011, 3:18PM

    i dont c the point in another supermarket opening so close to asda .surely there is somewhere else in gloucester they can build

  • fiforinfo  |  December 03 2011, 1:54PM

    The demise of the City centre continues. Gloucester will have a retail area covering some 5 square miles at least. It isn't London with easily accessible Bus and underground links to the different shopping centres. It fragments the City totally, eventually it will result in favoured areas with some losing out and going into decline as retail footfall and cash flow diminishes. So sad with the recent Christmas market in the Quays proving such a huge success. Spread yourself thinly and you cannot taste the Butter. An opportunity for an inner city park (if no leisure build can be encouraged) is lost. Rail infrastructure and fast links for the future are also lost leading to increased decline in visitors. City planners continue the follies of the 60's and 70's

  • 2ladybugs  |  December 03 2011, 12:52PM

    @Alphonso2 Whilst we could do with visionaries in all cities we also need companies that have the money to invest. There we have the biggest problem in these very dodgy economic times.

  • ablokehere  |  December 03 2011, 12:11PM

    The council had very little choice here unfortunately. At least something is now going to happen.

  • Alphonso2  |  December 03 2011, 12:01PM

    Their forebears built libraries, public baths, decent drainage and great civic buildings. The current great visionaries at Gloucester City Council approved plans for another supermarket.

  • 2ladybugs  |  December 03 2011, 11:37AM

    This sounds like a great improvement to the mess that is there at the moment.

  • Barquentine  |  December 03 2011, 11:13AM

    How is can a petrol station and a car showroom be 'green'?

  • dwarbie  |  December 03 2011, 11:12AM

    Sounds like a great idea, creating more work oppportunities and amenitites for citizens & visitors to Gloucester - considering there were talks of this are becoming a waste disposal site, this will be very much welcomed Im sure!