Plans to transform the barricaded buildings on the outskirts of the castle grounds have progressed.
The developer MEPC has submitted its planning application for the site of St Mary the Port in Bristol, which covers the crumbling church spire and three old dilapidated bank buildings.
The buildings are widely regarded as one of downtown’s biggest horrors and have been the subject of failed redevelopment projects in the past.
Read more: Pictures show exactly how huge plans would change Castle Park
The MEPC offers to repair the historic tower and open the ruins to the public, but the bank buildings would be demolished.
Three new office buildings would replace them, with independent retailers, cafes, restaurants and bars on the ground floor.
Three downtown streets that were lost during the Bristol Blitz would be reestablished, creating new pedestrian routes and opening up a new view of the crumbling tower and St. Peter’s Church.
The space in the park itself will be enlarged, with a new ‘public green’ around the restored steeple of St Mary le Port Church.
The MEPC held a public consultation earlier this year and announced on Tuesday (June 15th) that its plans had been submitted to Bristol City Council.
“Dangerous and misused space”
Its town planning request states: “Due to the dilapidated presentation of the site, surrounding the current buildings, with many changes in level and isolated areas, it has become a place of drug addiction, criminal activity and sleep in the city. street, and is therefore dangerous during the day. and the night.”
He argues that his proposal will create a “safe and lively place” with “active rooftop terraces and nightly uses such as bars and restaurants on the ground floor.”
Roz Bird, commercial director of MEPC, called the existing site “long neglected”.
She added, “We would like to thank everyone who spent time meeting with us and providing feedback – it has been a team effort and we are delighted with the level of support from our recent public consultation.
“We will continue to listen to feedback throughout the planning process and to work with agents and see this important site revitalized.”
“Where Bristol began”
The app reflects on the importance of the site and how it evolved after WWII.
He notes: “St Mary the Port is a key strategic site in the heart of Bristol. It is believed to be the ‘place of the bridge’ or ‘Brigstowe’, the first name of Bristol and hence where Bristol began.
“In November 1940, during World War II, the bustling heart of Bristol was bombed and destroyed.
“It didn’t just ruin the streets and churches, it destroyed layers of history, below the surface, in the region.
“The clearing and redevelopment of the area has removed other layers of history and changed the character and purpose of the site.”
The developer says his proposal “will generate a major increase in on-site biodiversity of over 85%, with the creation of more and better local habitats to support the city’s wildlife.”
Strategies have been devised to attract bats, birds, invertebrates and hedgehogs.
Native plants have also been selected in partnership with Friends of Castle Park and landscape architects Grant Associates, to help improve the air quality of the Old Town and encourage wildlife.
Each of the three new buildings will have green roofs, and the developer has also committed to planting 62 new trees on the site and in the grounds of the castle.
According to the urban planning request, more than the 13 existing trees will be felled to allow the development.
Commercial Director Roz Bird added: “Our plans for St Mary le Port will bring nature back by creating new spaces and places where wildlife can thrive and the natural world can flourish.”
The site includes the Church Spire, Bank House, Bank of England House and Norwich Union House, which sit at the edge of the park next to Wine Street and High Street.
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They have already been the subject of several failed development proposals over the years, with a particularly controversial plan in 2008 drawing protests and a public inquiry.
Last month, architect and former Bristol mayor George Ferguson voiced concerns that new office buildings could “erase” views of the city’s historic center.
Members of the public can find the app and submit comments by searching for the website for 21/03020 / F.