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Proposed new development - The Gower regeneration

Development overview

Telford & Wrekin Council announced in December 2020 that it would be working closely with St Georges and Priorslee Parish Council to bring forward regeneration plans for the iconic Gower building in St Georges, Telford.

If your not already familiar with the layout of The Gower you can take a virtual look inside.

The plans below provide an overview of how the scheme proposals are progressing. They have been developed in consultation with the Telford & Wrekin Council’s planning team as well as representatives from St Georges and Priorslee Parish Council.

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Proposed new site plan

Ground and first floor plan:

Image of the ground and first floor plan.

Watch the YouTube video about The Gower redevelopment:

The key elements of the scheme are as follows:

The area shown shaded pink on the proposed site plan is to be for the Parish Council and community.

The area will be accessed through the main door to the Gower via steps and a ramp, opening up into a lobby / manned reception.

There will be a disabled WC and baby change as well as male and female toilets to the rear of the building.

A kitchen will provide opportunity for catering with a servery being provided into the hall. In the main hall a flexible partition will allow for the room to be subdivided, allowing two activities to take place simultaneously.

The larger hall has an independent access to the rear. Alternatively, this subdivision could provide two spaces for the same function – for example a buffet adjacent to the kitchen alongside a children’s party in the main hall.

Proposals include for a stage to be located at the far end of the hall to allow for amateur dramatics, children’s performances or bingo!

Stackable chairs and tables will be stored under here and available for events. Provision will be made for a lighting and sound system.

Upstairs will be private space for the Parish Council including storage and a Parish Office.

We are providing some parking for the Parish and Community Centre on site but may also need to look at off site provision to ensure the scheme meets planning requirements. We are looking at options for this as part of our plans but are confident that as the facility is centrally located and served by a bus that we can find a satisfactory solution.

The buildings marked with an A, B and C on the proposed new site plan are to be new and converted homes with properties A to be 10 two bedroom new build town houses, properties B to be 4 one bedroom new build apartments and properties C to be 3 two bedroom converted apartments. The apartments will be accessed from the rear of the property so as to preserve the front elevation of the building. Parking for these properties will be within the site.

The properties will be owned, and managed by Nuplace, the Council’s wholly owned housing company and available for private rent.

As part of developing our plans we are continuously thinking about how the community centre and housing will interface to ensure that the two uses can coexist harmoniously on site. 

How is the listed status of the building being protected?

We have had a number of pre application meetings with the Local Planning Authority and key consultees including the Conservation Officer in order to develop our proposals. We have made a number of changes to our plans in response to their comments. It is vital that we look to provide improvements to the existing building whilst maintaining its integrity. Equally the new build housing needs to complement the Gower building and we are drawing on key architectural features of the Gower when developing how the new build housing will look.

We have commissioned a heritage statement and our appointed architects, Wood Goldstraw Yorath have lots of experience of working on listed building projects and are using this to guide our design. We are using all of this information and expertise to ensure that the building is protected through our development proposals.


Why is the Gower fenced off?

The Gower is currently fenced off to allow us to undertake a range of surveys of the building and its surroundings. These include looking at the levels across the site, ground conditions, stability of retaining and boundary walls etc. These surveys are essential to inform our design and planning application.

At the same time we are undertaking a detailed assessment of the condition of existing features within the building to assess what repair works are required to ensure they remain an integral part of any refurbishment proposals. In this way we can ensure that refurbishment is undertaken sensitively and seeks to protect and enhance the building.

It is also important to restrict access to the building due to the poor state of repair of certain areas which presents a health and safety risk.


What is happening to the play facility?

As part of the proposals we are looking to relocate the play provision to a suitable nearby location.


Who are the contractors?

Towards the end of 2020, the Council and Nuplace ran a tender exercise to appoint a contractor and design team to develop proposals for the Gower. Novus were selected based on an evaluation of both price and quality having demonstrated that they and their wider design team, have considerable experience of building and refurbishing a range of buildings for residential and community use, including listed buildings. Novus are working with us on preliminary designs leading to the submission of a planning application.


What is the timescale?

At the moment we are undertaking a range of surveys within and outside the building to underpin the design process. We will be using this information to refine our plans. We are looking to submit a planning application this summer 2021 with the aim to be on site by the end of the year, with new facilities open by the beginning of 2023.

Consultation

We will continue to post information here as the scheme develops so you can view emerging plans.

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