A MORE traditional scheme has been submitted for Chester’s famous riverside after a contemporary design was rejected by Chester City Council.
Applicants Delamere Palatine hope its proposals, centred on The Groves bar and bistro, will get a warm welcome compared with the earlier project which triggered a backlash from residents and business people.
Under the plans, The Groves bar would be demolished but redeveloped in a new building along with retail units and 14 apartments above – in three-, four-, five- and six-storey elements, centred around a first floor landscaped courtyard.
A key element of the design is a six- storey tower, adjacent to The Walls, rising seven metres above them.
The scheme, by Chester-based architects Tweed Nuttall Warburton, is intended to address criticisms of the earlier proposal by Liverpool-based Shed KM.
An accompanying document states: “Where that proposal would have created an elegant but rather remote, isolated pavilion with a very spare and clinical setting, by contrast we wanted to achieve something that, while being distinctive architecturally would also be very inclusive, rich in detail, complex; something intricately woven into the context that would invite contact and exploration.”
The North West corner of the scheme is dominated by a six-storey tower rising above the height of The Walls. Last time around, the fact the building was higher than The Walls proved controversial.
But the document states “any lower and it would lose all sense of drama and presence and fail to give appropriate stature to the location”.
It adds: “To some degree, we are taking away from the clear view of the wall on this corner by clustering so closely. But we feel with that loss there will also be a gain.
“By creating an active setting adjacent to the wall at its foot, attention will be drawn to the awesome height and strength of the structure at this location.”
The statement addressed the impact on the view from the Walls, saying, that given the vista on the circuit is so varied: “We do not regard this approach as one that unreasonably interrupts views from the Walls”.
Red brick is the main material to be used but with sandstone at ground floor level and in the tower to reflect the surroundings.
Among those consulted during the design stage were Chester Civic Trust, the city archaeologist, highways and the Conservation Area Advisory Committee.