Renaissance Retirement shortlisted for top-rated planning award

Posted by The Hackwood Group on
Top-rated local retirement housebuilder Renaissance Retirement has been shortlisted for a national planning award after work carried out in Christchurch impressed judges.

The company is now in the running to win the "Best use of brownfield land in place making" category in the Planning Awards 2017 for its Fleur-de-Lis development in the heart of Christchurch town centre.

Renaissance is the only retirement housing developer amongst five nominees for this prestigious national planning award, with the evening taking place at a gala dinner at The Savoy Place in London on the 21 July.

For more than 30 years, this town centre site stood derelict with an abandoned and neglected former warehouse.

Although not a listed building, the former warehouse was included on the Council's list of buildings of local interest despite not displaying any exceptional architectural features. However, the building's poor condition was such that it was beyond viable repair and re-use.

Having won a competitive bid to develop the site and following extensive consultation with the Planning and Conservation Officers, Renaissance Retirement designed a scheme for the rebuilding of former warehouse and its incorporation as part of the mixed use development of 26 sheltered apartments for older people and two retail shops within an attractive courtyard scheme.

Reflecting the pattern of development within this historic town centre, the development is designed around a new courtyard and pedestrian lane that links the high street to the town's public Druitt Gardens. Many of the retirement apartments front onto the public gardens. Renaissance Retirement also contributed to a significant scheme of enhancement to the public gardens.

"We are delighted to be nominated for such a prestigious national award which recognises the excellence of this scheme and the significant enhancement the development of this former derelict site has brought to Christchurch town centre, " said Peter Tanner, Planning Director at Renaissance Retirement.

Peter added: "The development fulfilled the Local Planning Authority's development plan aspiration to bring

this site back into use by creating a viable mixed use development that would also provide a pedestrian link

between the High Street and the historic Druitt Gardens (a public park to the south of the High Street


In providing much needed specialised accommodation for older people within the town, Renaissance

Retirement has also contributed to the landscape enhancement of the public gardens to the

benefit of the wider public.

Robert Taylor, Managing Director of Renaissance Retirement added: "Much of the success of our Christchurch development has been the revitalisation of this part of the High Street Conservation Area that had stood as a derelict eyesore for many years. It has preserved and enhanced the special qualities of the Conservation Area whilst bringing vitality to the High Street. We know many local people have been thrilled with our development."

A key element within the scheme is the top rated tea rooms that open onto the central landscaped courtyard.

The Tea Rooms, which is open to the public, has proved very popular with High Street shoppers and residents of the sheltered housing. It provides a very attractive urban space within the development that encourages pedestrian movement between the High Street and the public gardens whilst adding vitality to the town centre.

Renaissance Retirement's Managing Director Robert Taylor, Chairman Chris Goddard and Planning Director Peter Tanner will attend the awards' ceremony at The Savoy Place, London on Wednesday 21st June.

Picture: Renaissance's Design and Planning team. Left to right: Rob Franklin, Simon McFarlane, Peter Tanner and Matt Turpin.

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