Developer Gilman Holdings Ltd is seeking outline planning permission to demolish the existing Continental Hotel at 1 Engineer’s Lane and construct a seven-storey block of 22 apartments.
The plans, which have been filed with Town Planning but have yet to be discussed by the Development and Planning Commission, envisage a building that is higher than the usual five storeys permitted within the city walls.
However the top two storeys are set back from the street-facing façade and the developer argues the design will create a “landmark presence” at a key junction in the heart of town.
“What is important is that the proposals sit comfortably within the street scene,” the development plan for ‘Continental Suites’ states.
“The proposed storey height of the new building will be somewhat less than that of the historic style of buildings in the vicinity.”
“Therefore its additional floors will not result in edification that appears out of place or scale with its surroundings, particularly as the top two floors will be set back from the building line.”
The development plan for the Old Town states that developers need to pay attention to the height of existing buildings in the vicinity and in certain cases, particularly at focal points such as important corner plots, a taller building may be justified.
The developer aims to create commercial units on the ground floor and apartments on the remaining six floors.
No parking is being provided for in the apartment block – in part a reflection of its location on a pedestrianised stretch of road – but the building will have a dedicated bicycle storage room at the ground floor level, which will be accessed from Turnbull’s Lane.
The developer is seeking to utilise the full 100% area of the plot as “economic considerations dictate that the existing built configuration is maintained as the template for the redevelopment.”
The developer said the proposal presents an “attractive contemporary design” and notes its “ambition to revitalise the location in a sensitive state of the art manner, creating a landmark presence on this important urban junction.”
The development will have 22 apartments, each with their own balcony, of which six will be two bedroomed apartments, six will have one bedroom apartments and 10 will be studio flats.
The first to fourth floors will each have four apartments, one with two bedrooms, one with one bedroom and two studios.
The fifth floor will have three apartments one with two bedrooms, one with one bedroom and one studio. The sixth floor will have the same as levels one to four.