Plans put forward for 439 flats on old Magnet site

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

Developers have launched an application to build 439 flats on the site of the old Magnet Leisure Centre in Saint Cloud Way. All existing buildings on the site would be demolished and five new buildings would be erected in their place, under Countryside’s plans.

Most of the flats would be one or two-bedroom dwellings (166 one-bedroom, 255 two-bedroom) and overall, 130 of the new homes would be affordable.

The aim is for the buildings to be ‘energy efficient and sustainable’, making use of brown roofs and renewable energy technology.

The scheme will include 32 external cycle parking spaces and 350 car parking spaces.

Most of the car parking will be on the lower ground level, with 87 of them external to the buildings. Electric charging points will be included in 20 per cent of the parking spaces.

There will also be new ‘green link’ landscaping, providing access for pedestrians and cyclists between Kidwells Park, the Strand and the Moor, as well as a new pedestrian link to the town centre.

A new footway is proposed on the eastern border of the site, to address the lack of pedestrian footways on the western side of Holmanleaze.

The developers also propose to remove the ‘poor quality’ pedestrian bridge over Saint Could Way, replacing it with enhancements to the existing subway running underneath.

Countryside claims this will make the street ‘a safer and more inviting route’ for pedestrians wishing to access the town centre and reduce crime in the area.

Prior to putting forward a planning application, Countryside held public consultations receiving feedback from hundreds of residents.

More than half of those who responded agreed that public realm improvements will help enhance the area, while a majority said that the new pedestrian link and green landscaping was an important part of the proposals.

Countryside altered some of its designs after consultations, including the proposed height of the buildings, following concerns by residents that the previously planned structures were too tall.

Yet the proposed development still exceeds the upper building height threshold by one storey, making a maximum height of around 64m (210 feet).

The five buildings range in height from four storeys to 11 storeys. Every home will have private amenity space, with balconies measuring from a minimum of 5sqm.

The development ‘seeks to make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the surrounding area’ by drawing on design features from surrounding buildings, while adding a ‘more modern design twist’.

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