£6 million Gloucester city centre flats could unearth historic treasures

A London developer has revealed big plans for the middle of Gloucester — 55 new flats on the former Sainsbury’s supermarket site — a scheme archaeologists think could unearth yet more of the city's rich Roman and medieval history.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
The Hare Lane side of the former Sainsbury's building is home to Roman-inspired work by concrete mural artists Henry and Joyce Collins.

More development could soon be happening in Gloucester if a London-based firm gets permission to transform the former Sainsbury’s site in the city centre.

Clarehouse Developments wants to knock down the old store, which fronts both Northgate Street and Hare Lane, and build 55 city centre flats in three new buildings up to five storeys high.

If given the go ahead by Gloucester City Council planners, it will see an estimated £6 million investment in the site with the work to deliver the collection of one, two and three-bedroomed flats creating an estimated 60 jobs.

The development could also help unearth more of Gloucester's rich history still buried beneath the city. A statement among the planning documents says the site has a 'high to very high potential for archaeological remains associated with the Roman, medieval, post-medieval and modern periods'.

A report to the city council's planning department on behalf of the developer, said: ‘The scheme is a significant development opportunity within the heart of Gloucester and has a significant planning history, lying as it does, relatively close to the Cathedral.

‘The scheme is split into a family of three buildings, forming a soft, green courtyard at its centre. The buildings have three distinct elements: the elevation to Northgate Street, the elevation to Hare Lane and the courtyard elevations.’

The decision to close the Sainsbury’s store was confirmed in October 2021. Civic chiefs in Gloucester have since stated a new city centre supermarket on the site would be 'challenging'.

If the scheme goes ahead, it will mark more development in the wake of the ongoing transformation of the nearby former Debenhams building by the University of Gloucestershire — a £107 million, 600,000 square foot digital campus development called The Forum that is transforming King’s Square and the old bus station.

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