One of the criticisms of the Gloucester Quays and linkages is that the Kings Square and area around it has not been developed and as it’s the “gateway” to the city for those arriving on public transport, it looks a dump. In 2009 it was announced that this was to change with a new exciting redevelopment of the Kings Quarter and the promises were beyond belief. The scheme is in the paper again today, but I do detect a note of “toning down” of the promises and the beginnings of the management of expectation. I sincerely hope I am wrong.
The plans are being revealed today and in the Citizen, they are described as “ambitious plans to create a thriving metropolitan centre”. However my word of caution comes from another article about a “pledge” from the developers Stanhope PLC. They say that they do not want to create a completely new shopping area, which seems to me to be code for “we will do up what you already have“, and that coupled with their approach of delivering “what is reasonable and pragmatic in these challenging economic times” seems to me to be setting up the excuses when the design does not deliver what we desperately need.
As I said, I do really hope I am wrong because Gloucester really needs a good delivery of the Kings Quarter, especially the “travel hub”, but the more experience I get in the politics of the city, I am becoming much more adept as spotting warning phrases and get out clauses!
To the City Council, Please do not allow a second class development, Gloucester deserves the best, we have waited so long with great promises – You really must deliver.