The response from members of the public to the proposals, displayed at Drake Circus shopping centre on 22 and 23 February, was very positive – with a warm welcome given to the much-needed urban renewal scheme.
The designs, created by Chapman Taylor, centre on the sensitive renovation of Norwich Union House, creating a decluttered and attractive, glazed frontage at the ground floor, and restoring the modernist stone design at the upper levels.
The retail units will be modernised to attract new tenants, while a variety of new retail extensions will be provided in the rear service yard, capable of accommodating a wide range of offers.
Meanwhile, the tired public areas of Old Town Street and New George Street will be reinvigorated by MacGregor Smith and British Land on behalf of Plymouth City Council, with new ‘urban rooms’ created to encourage visitors to dwell. The spaces, largely pedestrianised and beautifully landscaped with new gardens and geometric floorscapes, will be flexible and capable of hosting a number of events and activities.
Six sensitively designed retail pavilions, in keeping with the design of Norwich Union House, will be created in the centre of both streets, providing a home for new retailers and stimulating a renewed commercial vibrancy in this part of Plymouth city centre.