Kings Quarter – an important year
The next 12 months will be an important phase in the development of the Kings Quarter scheme for the 'heart of the city', according to the key partners behind the plans.
At the last meeting of the City Council the 'Kings Quarter Concept Statement' was approved which sets out the 'look and feel' of the area in planning terms.
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Now developers Stanhope plc say they can now work up their detailed design. A sum of £100,000 has been committed to enable them to submit a planning application – once consultation with the public has taken place.
Council Leader Paul James, commented: " It may seem as if everything has gone quiet but beneath the surface there is a real hive of activity. In major developments of this kind there is a massive amount of behind the scenes work that needs to take place. It is the sort of work that isn't either physical or obvious – but it is crucial."
· Detailed design work
· Discussions with key retail and leisure operators to take space in the scheme
· Investigating the archaeological remains under the site
· Designing junction improvements to improve connections between the railway station and the city centre – involving talks with the county council and train operators.
· Designing the new bus station again involving talks with the county council and bus operators.
· Investigating the existing river and public utilities under the site that may need diverting
· Consulting with residents on their views about what they want to see and on later more detailed plans.
Added Councillor James: " In addition to all of this the land needed for the scheme has to be assembled. That in itself is a crucial piece of work. I hope this goes some way to explaining the size and scale of the programme and what is involved . Stanhope has started the building phase of a similar scheme in Hereford which reinforces our confidence in their ability to deliver projects of this magnitude."
Martyn Chase a director of Stanhope plc, added: " We are very pleased that the City Council adopted the Kings Quarter Concept Statement as this now gives us a firm planning policy context as well as clear guidance of the preferred form of development.
" For us this is a 'virtual' planning permission and means we can now work up the detailed design. We remain as committed as ever to delivering Kings Quarter in partnership with the City Council and the investment we are putting in to working up the plans is just one example of this. 2013 will be a hugely important year in the scheme's development and we are all working tremendously hard to make it happen."