Residents To Have Their Say On Designs For Key City Living Site

Designs for the three shortlisted housing schemes which could be built on a key city centre site have gone on display.

Around 100 homes are proposed for the Canal Quarter, off Lichfield Street, on the edge of the city centre. Local people are now being asked to review the designs being put forward for how the 5 acre site will be developed.

Images and proposals from the three shortlisted developers, Barratt, Keepmoat and Westbury Partnerships, will be on display in the City Waterside Community Centre, Dresden Street, until Friday, 18 March. Residents will be able to review the proposals and comment on the three submitted designs which will be taken in to consideration along with the design merits, provision of affordable homes, ground conditions and quality of the development when a decision is made on the final scheme.

“The Canal Quarter is a significant part of the Renew project and is designed to provide quality, affordable living in the heart of the city centre. As complementing city centre schemes are developed such as the Central Business District, East West shopping redevelopment, bus station and Mitchell Memorial Theatre, it is more important than ever that quality homes are provided for people wanting to move to the area or relocating closer to the city for new employment opportunities. It is important that people take the opportunity to look at the plans and see how they would like the area to be regenerated.”

The short-listed proposals will be evaluated at the end of March with a decision on the lead developer expected in the Summer.

The Canal Quarter forms part of the City Waterside project on the edge of the city centre it is designed to create a mixture of properties for city living. The scheme will have complementing public space features and focus on the unique waterfront location next to the Caldon Canal.

Lying at the South of the city centre the new homes will provide family and professional properties which will complement other city centre developments such as the Central Business District which will create a vibrant mix of business space, the landmark new bus station, Mitchell Memorial Theatre with community space and the £350million regional shopping centre being developed on the former East West site.

Plans can be viewed online at www.stoke.gov.uk and any comments should be received by Friday 28 March.

First Glimpse of New Eco Homes in Stoke-on-Trent

Plans to transform historic Victorian terraces in Stoke-on-Trent in to eco-homes are to go on display for the first time.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council and ctd architects, who are leading on the designs for the properties, will be exhibiting plans for the new homes at City Waterside Community Centre, in Dresden Street, between 6pm and 8pm on Tuesday, 11 January.

The project, which will see a series of Victorian terraced properties transformed in to three and four bedroom houses, has been put forward following consultation with residents keen to see larger family homes created in the area.

It will focus on a row of 15 terraced properties in Balfour Street, Hanley, which have unique heritage features. The proposal is for the properties to be converted into larger family homes which will all feature high specification eco-friendly measures such as solar panels, rainwater storage systems and under-floor heating.

“This is an exciting opportunity to transform the traditional terraced properties into state-of-the-art family homes. It is part of a larger development opportunity in the City Waterside East area and will complement neighbouring housing schemes creating high quality, eco-friendly family homes at the edge of the city centre. An earlier consultation with residents found that there was a real desire to keep the historic building fronts in Balfour Street while creating larger family homes in the area. The drop-in session will give people the chance to have a look at the plans and make comments and suggestions on the proposals.”

The proposals, which will see the former terraced properties completely transformed internally while maintaining the traditional heritage frontages, include around 16 energy efficient features both inside and outside the property.

At a consultation event for the City Waterside masterplan in the summer revamping the homes in Balfour Street was the preferred option for residents. The scheme received 97 per cent approval from the community.

Chris Hesketh, conservation architect at Leek-based ctd architects, welcomed the opportunity to be involved in helping Renew and Stoke-on-Trent City Council to deliver heritage-led community regeneration. He said: “The project is hoped to be a useful exemplar for other terraced properties in North Staffordshire. It is a ‘common-sense’ approach which will offer contemporary energy efficient family homes, whilst reinforcing the special heritage character of these distinctive terraces. This is ‘sustainable heritage’ at its most practical.”

Balfour Street falls within the City Waterside area of regeneration. Other plans in the area include the development of more than 90 homes in the Canal Quarter and a further 200 homes on the Wedgwood Gardens site.

Canal Quarter Plans Get Underway With Road Closures

Plans to develop over 250 new homes and create a major new pedestrian route through the city centre are starting today (June 1) as part of the development of the Canal Quarter; Renews flagship project.

The Canal Quarter, included within the City Waterside masterplan, also aims to deliver a new large scale building and other small scale commercial, leisure and retail outlets within an identified five hectare area.

Advanced notices will be implemented today advising that by the end of the week permanent road closures will be applied to the following three roads:

Talbot Street;
Berkeley Street;
Howson Street.

The closures of these roads are necessary to allow drilling and grouting works of the disused mineshafts underneath the site. These works will take 13 weeks to complete. Following this the city council will project mange the creation of fully serviced development plots. Work for this will start in the autumn this year and will last for between six to eight months.

In addition double yellow lines will also be implemented to Pelham Street and Bernard Street.

Councillor Brian Ward, cabinet member for housing, planning and transportation: said: “The development work to the Canal Quarter will act as a catalyst for future investment in the city and is a key step to the overall regeneration of Stoke-on-Trent. By creating pedestrianised areas we are helping to encourage both residents and investors back into the city.”

It is anticipated that a residential developer will be appointed later this year and the first houses will be built in the late Spring 2011.