Region: West Midlands
Local Authority: Stafford
Owner Type: Company
Funding Body: Developer funded
Year of Intervention: 1998 - 2001
Summary: Trentham Gardens: Threatened historic park given sustainable future following collective approach by developers, the local community and English Heritage.
Description: Formal gardens, pleasure grounds and a landscaped park with work by Lancelot Brown, Sir Charles Barry and WA Nesfield associated with a now largely demolished country house. Trentham gardens are registered at grade II*.
Issue: By the mid 1990s Trentham Gardens, which is on the suburban fringe of Stoke-on-Trent, had become a largely redundant historic park. Part of the park had been identified in a local strategic plan for a community housing development and there was a fear that the site’s historic integrity might be compromised through a mish-mash of multiple-ownership and disjointed development.
Strategy: Fortunately, one developer purchased Trentham. By working closely with English Heritage, the local authority and the local community, the company was able to identify and develop a scheme that respected the historic features of the Park. At the same time the scheme promoted the site as a beacon for local regeneration in tandem with a comprehensive programme of restoration and repair. English Heritage contributed to the public inquiry which broadly supported the developer’s proposals and will result in a high quality retail facility which will not detract from the park’s historic character and will contribute to local regeneration activities.
Outcome: The project demonstrated the value of working in partnership, and of trying to secure a compromise solution that reflects the interests of the commercial sector and the way in which a commercial development can sustain and protect a historic place without detracting from it.
Keywords: Design in context, Regeneration, Repair, Reconstruction & Restoration
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