Bristol news First look at cafe, bar and office plan for eyesore part of Castle Park MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Details of the St Mary le Port transformation have been published in a public consultation
Breaking News ! Developers have shared their vision to turn an "ugly" corner of Castle Park into a "vibrant and bustling" destination. MEPC has published details and first-look CGI images for the St Mary le Port site, which is a cluster of three eyesore buildings surrounding a ruined church tower. The proposed transformation would repair the tower and open up the ruins to the public, as well as creating three new office buildings with independent retailers, cafés, restaurants, and bars at ground level. Three city centre streets that were lost during the Bristol Blitz would be reinstated, creating new pedestrian routes and opening up a new views of the ruined tower and St Peter's Church. One of the office buildings will take inspiration from the Dutch House, a large timber-framed landmark building that stood on the site prior to its destruction during the 1940 bombings. The entrance to Castle Park from Bristol Bridge would be improved, while the landscaped terrace on the south side of the park would be extended. Roz Bird, commercial director of MEPC, said: "We feel privileged to have the chance to create something really special and unique for Bristol in this key location – somewhere people can shop, share good food, experience art and cultural events, hang out, or simply explore St Mary le Port Tower, Castle Park and the Floating Harbour. "We know that people have waited a long-time to see this site rejuvenated." The site comprises of the church tower, Bank House, Bank of England House and Norwich Union House, which sit on the edge of the park next to Wine Street and High Street. They have already been subject to several failed development proposals over the years, with one particularly controversial plan in 2008 attracting protests and a public inquiry. How St Mary le Port tower could look (Image: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios/ MEPC) MEPC said it has already had "extensive" conversations in the past year with Bristol City Council and community representatives to come up with a plan people can agree on, and it is now seeking feedback from the wider public. A consultation has launched today (Thursday, April 8) before it submits a planning application, and people can share their opinions via the developer's website. Two online consultation events are planned on April 21 and April 22, which people can virtually attend and ask questions. The developer's website describes the buildings as being "derelict for many years" and "left behind for decades". It feels its proposal will create a "vibrant new destination that will combine Bristol’s contemporary culture with its rich history and heritage".
. The latter pedestrian-only street will provide a ‘dramatic reveal’ of St Mary le Port Tower and will also open up the view of St Peter’s Church from High Street. The new routes will also provide a new view of the St Mary le Port ruins from Wine Street
The former banking and finance buildings surrounding the old St Mary le Port Church in Castle Park
(Image: John Myers/ Bristol Live)
Extending the landscaped terrace at the south side of Castle Park. The controversial proposal in 2008 looked to develop a fourth building next to Castle Park. However, MEPC has decided not to introduce a fourth building and instead utilise the area to improve the Bristol Bridge entrance to Castle Park, and open up new views of the St Mary le Port tower from the Floating Harbour Re-establishing the historic cross-roads where the Bristol High Cross once stood, linking High Street, Corn Street, Broad Street and Wine Street The founding of two separate projects to benefit the community - one to help local young people gain work experience, and the other to consider how to enhance the site's natural environment and welfare benefits MEPC said the three main buildings will "champion environmental sustainability" and will be "individually designed taking into consideration the area’s historic identity". 'A sad story for decades' Friends of Castle Park, a volunteer group working to preserve and enhance the important green space, has welcomed the proposal. Its members said in a statement: "The historic but neglected St Mary le Port has been a sad story for many decades, with several schemes being brought forward but failing to materialise. "The excitement is at ground level where MEPCs proposals focus on rescuing St Mary le Port Tower and opening up the entire area to create a new bustling place with independent shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.
Russ Leith of Friends of Castle Park inside the bombed-out St Peter's Church
(Image: Sophie Grubb/ Bristol Live)
"The developer is also introducing new links to Castle Park with a nod to local history by bringing back the streets that we lost in the Bristol Blitz. "As Friends of Castle Park, we especially like the attention to the park, with a whole new area of open space around St Mary le Port Tower and down to the Floating Harbour planned." They said some of the trees will be lost around the site, but they have been reassured that these will be replaced with higher quality trees and there will be a net gain overall.
'Ugly buildings' Their comment added: "Rather than looking onto the backside of some ugly buildings, the view from the park will be improved with attractive, active frontages and buildings with living walls so they become part of the park. "We were reassured by the level of thought that had gone into the design of the buildings and their relationship to the park." More information about the consultation events and comments are available on the development's website. People can also talk to a member of the project team by calling 0800 689 520 and can request for a hard copy pf the proposal to be posted to them.
Source = MetiNews.Com