FIRST PAST THE POST - North Place Cheltenham

Paul Newman: Successful Town Planning Permission Granted & Designing for Sustainable Future Growth

Juice Architects are delighted to be part of the Augur Buchler team to achieve Town Planning Permission for this important mixed-use town centre scheme. Cheltenham Borough Council have now granted Town Planning permission for the regenerative development at North Place comprising a 70,000 sqft food store, restaurants, 143 residential properties with new town square, new bus terminus  and a town centre car park.

The success follows the selection as the ‘preferred developer team’ in competition and the subsequent design development, engagement with the local authority and other stakeholders to realise a scheme that has the support of the borough, eventually achieving permission with a 12:2 vote in favour by the planning committee.

"This is probably the single most important planning development in the centre of Cheltenham since the Second World War. I actually think this is a very good scheme. I think it does a very good job of balancing the conflicting needs of the housing, the parking and the supermarket."

Councillor Andrew McKinlay (LD, Up Hatherley).

The design challenge was to integrate complex modern uses and lifestyles into the historic townscape whilst repairing the urban grain and improving the public realm. This was achieved following extensive research into Cheltenham and its history to inform our masterplan through which individual buildings were placed to contribute to the street scene. Part of the design process involved innovative processes to facilitate the demands of a large modern foodstore in an historic town.

We saw this as an opportunity to repair and regenerate this key brownfield site and realise the long held aspirations of Cheltenham’s Civic Pride Project, completing a master plan process that began nearly 200 years ago.

“we have had high ambitions for this redevelopment project right from the start. We want a high quality scheme which improves the town centre and which future generations of Cheltonians can be proud of"

Cllr John Rawson, Cheltenham Borough Council Member for the Built Environment

Through engaging in a collaborative dialogue with the Cheltenham Borough Council Members and Team and with the Cheltenham Development Task Force, as well as responding to comments made by the local community during the comprehensive community consultation process, we have proposed an exemplary low carbon sustainable urban development that not only improves accessibility and connectivity through the Town to enable safe, vibrant streets that give the town back to pedestrians, but also adds significant increase in NAV value for our client.

Given Cheltenham’s reputation as an historic Spa Town, for staging world class events such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Cheltenham Jazz Festival and for establishments such as the Cheltenham Ladies College it was crucial to deliver a high quality sustainable approach that was in keeping with and will serve to enhance Cheltenham’s reputation in the future.

Following a detailed analysis of the site to truly understand Cheltenham’s DNA and its unique historic characteristics, two key elements guided our urban design direction – firstly the desire to complete the Green Promenade linking Montpellier Terrace with Pittville Spa as a real walkable route, and secondly the reinstatement of the Regency Street patterns, utilising Regency precedents found throughout the UK, and precedents of public promenades across Europe.

“a very well researched development that regenerates a missing link in the northern part of Cheltenham but acts as a catalyst for future growth"

John Henley, Development Director, Augur Buchler

Significant added value has been squeezed out of this previously underutilised brownfield site by incorporating 70,000sq ft of new food retail, a new 100 bed hotel and 130 much needed new homes, of which 40% are to be affordable.

Connectivity and accessibility will be greatly improved with the introduction of a new bus node creating a Gateway to the town, a pleasant landscaped promenade takes the individual past the new square on St Margaret’s Terrace.  New streets will be fronted by housing, with parking behind, providing natural surveillance onto the space and re-forming lost street edges.

The new more formal public square is placed on the pivotal point of the promenade at Trinity Square, forming a key setting for Holy Trinity Church, which now acts as a focal aspect for the new residential quarter.

The creation of these new public realm spaces will give the local community the opportunity to enjoy more public green space in which to relax and experience a greater sense of wellbeing in their daily life.

Sustainability is at the core of the design proposals.  Our design philosophy follows the sustainable principles of Reduce - Reuse - Recycle and integrates features such as Site-wide district heating and cooling, Reclaiming waste heat from refrigeration, Sustainable Urban Drainage using growing walls and roofs and permeable paving and water recycling.

“Paul is an architect of the highest commercial acumen.

He is able to quickly grasp complex conflicting elements and produce solutions which work both architecturally and commercially.

He produced for us a ’well researched, engaging presentation and a clever master plan incorporating valuable mixed-uses on a sensitive and complex urban site.’’

John Henley Development Director – Augur Buchler Partners

Development Team:

Juice Architects Alder King
Auger Buchler CGMS
Ellis Williams Laing O’Rourke
Mouchel Skanska