Crescent Gardens Update
You will recall that the Society was opposed to the sale of this HBC asset, and feared that any private development would destroy, or at least prevent public access to, the important civic spaces in the building (the Council Chamber, the Mayor’s parlour, the Committee Room the fine hallway and staircase and the magnificent stained glass).
The new owners (Impala Estates, a locally owned and run company) contacted the Society even before they purchased and continue to keep us informed of their plans. They even gave us a guided tour of the building, after internal stripping out was complete, in October 2020.
On that visit, we witnessed the plans for improving thermal efficiency and looked at the proposed layouts for providing small, medium and larger office space. They also told us about plans for a two storey addition to the top floor. Rather than being a novel idea this was in fact part of the design when the building was first constructed. The Planning Application is now being submitted to HBC. Care needs to be taken to ensure that neither light nor noise pollution from the new upper floors will have an adverse effect on neighbouring residential properties so the Society will be looking closely at the details of the application.
It is exciting to hope that the refurbished and extended Crescent Gardens building, and the retained civic space inside, could be at the centre of our proposed Cultural Quarter. This could include the Royal Hall, Royal Baths, Royal Pump Room, Mercer Gallery and through Valley Gardens to the Sun Pavilion. You can read more about our ideas for the Cultural Quarter in our brochure available on our documents sub-page.