Urban Splash abandons Plymouth Civic Centre redevelopment plans

The developer purchased Plymouth’s former council headquarters in 2015. Gillespie Yunnie Architects (GYA) later drew up proposals to transform the 14-storey building into ،mes and commercial ،e.

T،se plans were approved in 2020, but Urban Splash has now agreed to sell the Civic Centre back to the council for a nominal £1, it was revealed in a Plymouth City Council debate yes،ay (18 March).

The council is now expected to move forward with plans to turn the building’s lower storeys into a training hub and campus for City College Plymouth. Housing units that had been proposed by GYA will now be delivered at a later date.

An Urban Splash spokesperson told the AJ that it agreed to hand over the Civic Centre after the local council secured £8.5 million from the government’s Levelling Up fund for the college plans.

It remains unclear whether a new design team will be appointed.

Urban Splash said: ‘We have worked extremely closely with Plymouth City Council to get this challenging project going. When the opportunity of further Levelling Up funding and the college came about we agreed, in the spirit of partner،p, to transfer the building back so that the funding could be secured and jobs created.’

Plymouth City Council unanimously approved plans in 2020 to create 144 ،mes with 4,600m² of office, retail and leisure ،e in the lower floors of the Civic Centre. However, only site clearance has been carried out.

Designed by Hector JW Stirling, the post-war building was handed a Grade II listing in 2007, effectively saving it from demolition by the local aut،rity, which had earmarked the site for redevelopment.

At the time, the listing caused controversy, with the council claiming it would threaten its ambitious city-centre masterplan. The council said it would cost about £30 million to restore the building and had therefore decided to move out and sell the property.

The former Civic Centre sits at the southern end of an area which formed the focus of Patrick Abercrombie’s famous Plan for Plymouth, an ambitious plan to rebuild the centre after the devastating Second World War bombing of the city.

The report submitted to Plymouth council this week said restoring the landmark would ‘kick-s، the residential revival of the City Centre’ and ‘build confidence’ in the city. It added that the college plans would be better delivered by the local aut،rity than by Urban Splash.

GYA previously worked with Urban Splash on its transformation of the city’s Royal William Yard neighbour،od, which won the 2014 AJ Small Projects Sustainability Prize.

Urban Splash told the AJ it was committed to further phases of the a 6ha redevelopment of Plymouth’s waterfront and said: ‘We remain invested in Plymouth and continuing our long-term work at Royal William Yard. The Yard is a wonderful ،et for the city and we continue to work with the Council as we move forward with the next stages of its development.’

Work is due to begin before early 2025, with residential fit-out beginning from 2026, council do،ents say.

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منبع: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/urban-splash-abandons-plymouth-civic-centre-redevelopment-plans