Historic England criticizes plans to build flats in Cheltenham

Image source, CBC/Alan Vines

Image caption, Concerns have been raised that the design of the development is not in keeping with the surrounding historic area

  • Author, Carmelo García
  • Role, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Plans to demolish city center offices and replace them with a block of flats have been criticized by Historic England.

Alan Vine wants permission from Cheltenham Borough Council to redevelop 86-90 Winchcombe Street and build 26 apartments on the former St Vincent’s and St George’s Association site, known as Aim Up.

Historic England said the development was of “poor design”, was not in keeping with the surrounding area and would dominate nearby listed buildings.

The location is located in the city’s central nature reserve and was previously listed as a monument.

The consultants said a simple, contemporary building would not detract from the character or environment of the site.

Image caption, The development would be built on the site of the former Phoenix Center on Winchcombe Street

The latest proposals, if approved, would create 26 residential units, spread over four floors, on the footprint of the existing building, with a separate building immediately to the west.

The proposed main replacement building is designed to be of a similar scale to the surrounding buildings, with a brick facade and regular window and door openings, the developers say.

‘Serious concerns’

But Historic England says the scale and design of the building is not in keeping with the prevailing local and historic character.

“Historic England would like to raise serious concerns about the proposals set out in this application,” they said in their response.

“These concerns relate primarily to the poor design, form and location of the proposed development, which will not contribute positively to the local character and distinctiveness of this part of Cheltenham’s central conservation area.

“It is also not sympathetic to local history or the surrounding built environment.”

The council was expected to consider the proposals on July 24.

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