Shape The Future - Podsmead

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Shape The Future of

Podsmead
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The Big Idea

Podsmead, in Gloucester, is to get a multi-million pounds facelift and it’s long overdue.  As with all regeneration projects there will be differences of opinion along the way – but ultimately everyone is on the same journey.

It started in March 2017 when Gloucester City Homes secured funding of £1.25m from the Government’s Estates Regeneration Fund.  That was used to consult communities, partners and draw up initial master plans for the regeneration of the Podsmead (and Matson) estates.

A Little History

Podsmead was largely built after the Second World War as an estate of temporary homes and social housing.  Those post-war ‘prefabs’ were designed to last about ten years as a stop-gap until more durable housing was built.  But many of those ‘temporary’ homes survived in Podsmead and White City into the ‘70s and ‘80s.  You can build houses, but building a community is harder.  According to the 2011 Census, nearly three thousand people live in the ward.

Word on the Street

Covid has slowed things down, but the plans are still moving forward.  At every stage along the way people who live and work in Podsmead will be asked for their thoughts.  One of the key players in the area is Podsmead Big Local which runs the community café on Scott Avenue and Poets Pantry on Shakespeare Avenue.  The café is where you can hear what people think.

The regeneration has five key objectives

  1. Stronger and cohesive communities
  2. Safer communities
  3. Thriving economy
  4. Sustainable housing and environment
  5. Health and wellbeing
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The Vision

The area does need new infrastructure and shopping facilities are part of the plans.  There are also calls for a pharmacy.  A parade of shops will form part of Phase One of the redevelopment on the Southern end of the Scott Avenue green space, with apartments above, opposite Crypt Grammar School.  There will be landscaped public space outside the shops.  No buildings will be more than four storeys high, following feedback from the public consultations done so far.  There will be terraced housing behind the shops, looking out on to what is currently the central section of the open space.

That open space is the contentious part of the redevelopment; the green area will be reduced by one-third to accommodate new buildings.  Planners say there is a trade-off and the open space will be better designed, even if it is smaller.  A park will occupy the central section.  The children’s play area will be moved into the North-East corner, with the Memorial Sensory Garden in the North-West corner.  Between these facilities and the terraced housing and shops will be the village green for sport, music, community and arts events.

The Northern end will contain a community hub with apartments above.

There is still a long way to go

There will be setbacks, but the overall direction is forward.  The mood of Podsmead is best summed up by Babs Lewis;

“We want everybody around here to come forward to talk and listen to what we’ve got to say.  Podsmead needs lifting.  Podsmead needs love.”

You can find out more about the regeneration on the website

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We facilitate the connecting of residents, local business, and local services in becoming thriving and aspiring communities. We support local community development, advice, education and training activities to increase residents’ confidence, skills levels and reliance.

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