Region: South West
Owner Type: Company
Funding Body: Developer
Summary: Royal William Yard: working closely with English Heritage and Plymouth City Council, developers achieved a combination of high quality design in an historic setting with good commercial returns.
Description: Royal William Yard covers an eighteen-acre peninsula in Plymouth’s Stonehouse/Mount Wise area. Designed by Sir John Rennie and built in 1826-35 as a victualling depot, this is one of the finest group of buildings to be constructed for the Royal Navy. Listed at Grade I, the Yard went out of military use in 1992 and was acquired by the South West Regional Development Agency.
Issue: The developer Urban Splash put in a proposal to convert two buildings, creating a mixed-use scheme with 133 apartments and three commercial spaces. Given the importance of the historic buildings it was important that the new design would not diminish their significance.
Strategy: Working closely with English Heritage and Plymouth City Council, the Regional Development Agency recognised the importance of the site and drew up a conservation plan to enable the yard to be developed while retaining its character.
Outcome: The result was a quality modern design- in keeping with its historic context and all the residential units were pre-sold in a single day. This demonstrates that a combination of high quality design in an historic setting can be achieved with good commercial returns. Consultation with relevant parties at an early stage and informed decision-making was an essential component of its success
Keywords: Design in context, Re-use, Sustainability
© English Heritage