Central Plymouth remains the focus of our attention in the South West. On 21 June developers Urban Splash revealed their outline plans for the Civic Centre at a public consultation in the adjacent Council Chambers: https://www.urbansplash.co.uk/civic-centre-consultation.
This was following a pre-application meeting with various stakeholders, including the Twentieth Century Society. Following this the Society Casework Committee made some constructive comments on the details of the proposals for the building and I was pleased to see at the public consultation that there had been some changes to the detail of the designs taking these comments into consideration. There are still some details of the scheme to be defined but the proposals are encouraging and I hope that as further details emerge they will be in line with our recommendations. Above is a snap of the detail for the revised glazing on the Civic Centre tower.
Another recent development in Plymouth is the announced closure of the House of Fraser Store, Dingles. This is one of the 31 stores that the chain is closing and it is an integral part of central Plymouth and a key component in the post war Abercrombie plan. Of course such closures are indicative of the decline of the high street nationally. The BBC have invited C20 south west to comment on this and we will argue that such a closure is an opportunity to introduce residential redevelopment for such buildings, which will bring people back into the city centre and also help the remaining retail environment. Interestingly Urban Splash propose a mix of residential and retail use for the Civic Centre, which is literally across the road from Dingles, so this would be complementary.