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Atkins Walters Webster lands cathedral first

Atkins Walters Webster has secured permission to convert Bristol's crumbling Grade-II Clifton Pro-Cathedral (1848) into flats - the first former UK cathedral to be commercially redeveloped.

Bristol City Council last week approved AWW's plan, devised in collaboration with conservation architect Richard Pedlar and CSJ Planning Consultants, to adapt the property into 80 apartments and a single townhouse.

Some 38 apartments will be created in the existing structure, considered one of Bristol's finest buildings at risk, while a cluster of new blocks at the rear of the cathedral will provide an additional 42 flats.

The former 580 sqm school hall is to be transformed into offices and the cathedral vaults given over to car parking.

The Pro-Cathedral in Park Place, Clifton, has been mostly derelict since the Catholic Church relocated to Clifton Cathedral in the early 1970's. It was de-consecrated in the 1970s and briefly occupied by the Steiner Waldorf School until the mid 1990s. Pevsner calls it 'a building rather strange than attractive'.

Developer Urban Creation paid £2.1 million from Ashfield Land for the site. Director Darren Sheward believes it is one of the last major redevelopment opportunities in Clifton.

'These wonderful buildings are in a very sad and sorry state-This is a complex and difficult site to redevelop which has been fraught with structural difficulties over many years,' he said.

by Clive Walker

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