Publication: Pre-Submission Gloucester City Plan

Pre-Submission City Plan

Introduction and context

3.4.1 Gloucester has a unique and rich heritage formed by historic buildings, street patterns, archaeological remains, landscape and other physical remnants of its past. A city of intense urban activity for nearly two thousand years, it has a special legacy of nationally significant heritage from all historic periods. Gloucester's heritage is a central component in the identity of the city. It defines much of what is locally distinctive about the city and that impacts on how the city's residents and visitors feel, use and perceive the city. This has wide reaching implications on the image of the city, the economy, tourism, legibility and the health and wellbeing of the city's residents.

3.4.2 The historic environment, consisting of archaeological remains, historic buildings, townscapes and landscapes, including locally significant assets and their settings in addition to designated and statutorily protected features, will be valued, protected, preserved, enhanced and managed for its contribution to character, local distinctiveness and sustainability. New development should seek to safeguard, and where possible enhance, heritage assets and their settings. Development will be required to respect and respond positively to designated heritage assets and their settings, avoiding loss or harm to their significance. Proposals that involve securing a viable future use or improvement to an asset on the Heritage at Risk register will be supported.

3.4.3 The City Council has recently adopted a new Heritage Strategy (HS) for the city. It sets out that Gloucester's historic environment, is a powerful resource for economic development, regeneration, supporting business and enterprise, competitiveness, tourism, and attracting people to live, work, visit and invest. It also provides volunteer opportunities and helps foster local identify and pride.

3.4.4 The overall aim of the HS is 'To achieve effective and sustainable conservation, regeneration and management of Gloucester's heritage, so as to fully realise its economic, community and cultural potential.' It sets out projects and opportunities to deliver, enable, engage and support conservation and recreation of heritage.

3.4.5 The JCS and GCP have a strong role in delivering the aims and objectives of the HS. The policies that follow in this section quite obviously have a direct link in that they seek to conserve and enhance the historic environment. However, the HS is a golden thread that has informed and will be delivered by different policies, including for example Policy A1, which supports the reuse of vacant floors above commercial units to support the reuse of historic buildings and repopulation of the city centre. There are also important implications for some of the site allocations, particularly SA08 King's Quarter, SA10 Former Fleece Hotel & Longsmith Street Car Park and SA21 Park of West Quay, The Docks.

3.4.6 Given the importance of heritage and the benefits in can bring to the economy, the following policies meet several of the of the GCP key principles. Of note is (3) in relation to heritage and regeneration, (4) in building on existing strengths to create a diverse and innovative cultural, tourism, arts and sporting offer and (9) which seeks protect and enhance environmental assets.

3.4.7 This policy should be read in conjunction with Policy SD8 'Historic Environment' of the JCS.