As the site, in a prominent location between a major approach road for Newport and the bank of the River Usk, has become neglected since the supermarket closed several years ago, this development will bring much needed improvement to this area.
From an environmental perspective, one of the main constraints to the development of the site is its proximity to the nationally and internationally protected River Usk, which is a special area of conservation and a site of special scientific interest for otter, migrating fish and special habitats. The masterplan aims to protect and enhance the biodiversity of the site. In addition, the proposed working methods during construction have been carefully specified to minimise their impacts on species that use the river.
Another key consideration is the development’s impact on the setting of Newport Castle, a scheduled ancient monument. An RSK archaeologist working in conjunction with a landscape architect undertook a heritage setting impact study that explored the potential visual impact of the development proposals on the castle from various viewpoints. The findings helped to minimise the visual impact by informing the evolution of the masterplan.
If the plans are approved, the student accommodation will be in place for the University of South Wales’ autumn 2017 student intake, many of whom will walk or cycle into the city, as connectivity and the riverside experience will be better. The scheme is one of several regeneration projects in Newport fuelling the growing belief that Newport is a city on the up.
Image courtesy of Nash Partnership