12 St Mary’s Street update;
Approval has been granted for alterations to the rear roof and internal changes
Application ref. CA/15/01976
A new planning application has been submitted to Canterbury City Council in respect of Carausius Court. The application requires the roof to increase in height and the removal of the dummy chimney
St John’s Lane car park:
As listed on Canterbury City Council website as the development principals
The site is presently a hard surfaced business user car park that covers an area of approximately 609m2 and provides 19 parking spaces and access to adjacent businesses and residential properties. It is located within the city walls and in the surrounding area there is a mix of uses (mainly residential with some smaller scale retail and business premises). The site is allocated in the 2006 Local Plan for Housing with a notional capacity of four or five units.
St John’s Car Park looking west
The area is built up with buildings fronting onto the back of pavement. St John’s Lane is narrow and there is some hard and soft landscaping evident in the form of back gardens and small walled front gardens. The general scale of buildings in the area is generally two storey houses, with dormer windows, together with some three storey flat roofed developments. Along St John’s Lane the properties have varying styles but are generally brick and render with some tile hanging. The roofs are predominately Kent peg tile with a few in slates. Built over carriageway entrances are common features giving vehicle access to the rear of sites.
To the southwest of the site are the gardens, garden walls and gates of the two storey red brick late Victorian terrace fronting St Mary’s Street. To the southeast of the site is another two storey late Victorian terrace fronting St John’s Lane. The properties have ground floor bay windows with small front gardens, garden walls and gates that run along the road edge. The side wall and garden of 15 St John’s Lane run along the eastern boundary of the site. To the west of the site is a mix of two to two and a half storey residential and retail properties. To the northwest of the site is 14 St John’s Lane a key building in the street scene and is the only listed building in the street. It is a 16th century timber framed building with brick infill and tile hanging now converted for offices. On the north eastern side of St John’s Lane is a housing development, Lullingstone Court, which has a two and a half storey height, in a mix of materials and uses a built over carriageway to provide access (see photograph opposite).
Numbers 12/17 St Mary’s Street, 12/14 Castle Street and 14 St John’s Lane have access rights (vehicle and/or pedestrian) over the car park. The trees and shrubs in the gardens surrounding the car park provide a pleasant contrast to the built form and are an important feature of the area.
Excerpt from Local Pan 2006 Proposals Map showing St Lane car park
3.2.1 Archaeology and history
The site is in close proximity to one of the two known foci of late prehistoric Iron Age/Belgic settlements straddling the eastern side of the Stour Valley, defined by a large enclosure extending from St John’s Lane southwards to Hospital Lane. The settlement represents some of the earliest evidence for pre‐Roman activity at Canterbury.
The area between Castle Street and St John’s Lane has produced evidence for late prehistoric, Bronze Age, settlement adjacent to the Great Stour River, comprising a large ditched enclosure. Excavations on the site of the car park in 1951 also recorded a crouched Iron Age inhumation burial (UAD Event Record 682).
The presence of Roman masonry buildings in this area is attested by parts of a building recorded on the north side of St John’s Lane in 1986 (UAD Event Record 148). The buried archaeology on this site is therefore of regional/national importance. The need to ensure meaningful preservation in situ and the sensitivity and importance of the buried archaeology in this area would preclude the use of a piled foundation design during any development.
A detailed impact assessment and site evaluation will be required to assess the importance of the archaeology and the potential impact of proposed development as well as to ascertain the depth, character and state of preservation of the buried archaeology. The results of the evaluation should provide data from which development proposals can be formulated. The use of raft foundations and associated building designs would contribute towards the preservation in situ of much of the buried archaeology.
Historically the site appears to have contained a substantial building fronting St John’s Lane with a large rear yard/garden area probably. The buildings were lost during the 1930Õs/1940Õs, possibly due to bombing after which time the site became a council car park.
1840 map 1910 map
3.2.2 Access, Parking and highway requirements
The development should provide for vehicle and pedestrian access from St John’s Lane. The most efficient way of providing this would probably be via a carriageway entrance. The car park also provides vehicular and pedestrian access to adjoining houses and businesses that are subject to individual licence agreements with the City Council. These access arrangements should be preserved in any development. A traditional ‘Canterbury’ vehicle crossover should be created at the carriage way entrance.
3.2.3 Design and materials
The site is considered suitable for four or possibly five two storey town houses fronting onto St John’s Lane. The form of this development will be dictated by the awkward shape of the site, the need to provide access to the rear of the site and the character of the surrounding area.
The development should have an active frontage to St John’s Lane possibly with a small front garden (as for numbers 15 to 19) and private garden space to the rear. It is anticipated that the design should be contextual and vernacular in appearance. Building heights should be two storeys and the ridge line should be no higher than the adjoining terraced houses 15 to 19 St John’s Lane. Accommodation in the roof space may be acceptable if it does not increase the roof height. Roofs should be pitched either hipped or gabled, finished in plain clay tiles or slate. The street contains a limited variety of building styles and materials including red brick, render and hung tiles. Windows should be vertically proportioned which are predominantly vertically sliding sashes.
Areas of hard and soft landscaping would need to be provided within the site and would include provision for some private garden space. The private open space would be best located to the rear of the site especially adjacent to the present residential properties.
3.2.4 Key features
* The continuation of the building line possibly including the provision of front small gardens á Buildings of two storeys with a ridge height no greater than numbers 15 to 19 St John’s Lane.
* A mix of vertically proportioned windows including vertical sliding sashes.
* Active and interesting frontage to St John’s Lane.
* Access to a rear courtyard area via built over carriageway entrance.
* Provision of private garden space.
Another development in our area the Local Development Plan intends to build is Hawks Lane:
The development principles are shown below and is subject to revision.
A new application for St. John’s Lane has been submitted to the council
A report in the Kentish Gazette (January 2015) has shown that there is much opposition both in the local area and in Canterbury. Below shows a photo of some local people, traders and members of SMACS who are against this site being closed and built-on as well as many other car parks in the SMACS area (e.g. Rosemary Lane, and Hawks Lane).
Some recent photos (July 2015) supplied by Jessica Kennedy showing the problems with HGV and other large vehicles trying to reverse into St John’s Lane making this essential for this area to be maintained for this reason and not to be built on.
Redevelopment to accommodate 2 x 2.5 storey 3 bedroom townhouses with parking to rear and a 3 storey block accommodating 8 x 1 bedroom apartments.
after it was thought it had been withdrawn.
29th May 2014 Recent development demolition started.
Feb 2015. Foundations are now being completed.
Work continues and the progress as at:
December 2015 progress
Application on hold, meanwhile the site has reverted back to a temporary car park for the Abode.