Login Register

Revealed: The new vision for Plymouth's historic waterfront

By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: September 17, 2013

By KEITH ROSSITER Political Reporter @krossiter

  • How Sutton Harbour could look if plans are given the go-ahead

  • How the historic Sutton Harbour looks today

  • The planned boardwalk is part of Sutton Harbour plans

  • Artist's impression shows new buildings on the historic waterfront

  • How the new buildings would look from the water

  • Artist's impression of the new development during the night

  • How the boardwalk could look in the evenings

Comments (31)

DESIGNS for the scaled-down Sutton Harbour boardwalk have been made public for the first time.

The images, published on Plymouth City Council’s online planning portal, show modern structures attached to the historic stonework of the ancient harbour.


Related content

As reported in The Herald, the £4.5million “boardwalk” plan is less than half the size of an earlier proposal which was branded a “profiteering exercise” that would destroy the heritage of the waterfront.

Sutton Harbour Holdings pulled its initial plan in March, after the Action Group for Sutton Harbour raised serious concerns about the proposals.

In the revised planning application the area of proposed boardwalk has been shrunk by more than 55 per cent to retain more open water and access to the historic quay.

The footprint and size of a planned two-storey commercial buildings has been reduced by more than 3,000sq ft, or 16 per cent, and the main building containing three separate units has been downsized and moved further from Vauxhall Quay, to improve visibility.

New moorings will be accessed from the sea via a new drawbridge.

The proposed scheme would see a pedestrian route around the north of Sutton Harbour for the first time, completing the Sutton Harbour Heritage Trail.

The plans include a timber walkway and decked public space, with four new restaurants in two “striking contemporary” buildings, and two kiosks to the south of Guy’s Quay, Little Vauxhall Quay and Vauxhall Quay.

In a previous interview with The Herald Jason Schofield, chief executive of Sutton Harbour Holdings, said: “Since publishing our original proposals we have listened to a wide range of comments and worked closely with interested parties to amend our scheme and respond to the issues raised.”

But residents have already begun to comment on the new proposals.

Donna Richards said: “This proposed building is not in keeping with the present variety of architecture in this area. It's ugly and bland, other designs should be looked at.”

Matthew Waterman of Vauxhall Street added: “I feel it is detrimental in size and appearance to the historic Barbican Conservation Area and entirely out of keeping.

The 2 storey commercial blocks will significantly impede the views of the listed buildings from other parts of the harbour. The public views from Vauxhall Street and in front of the Marina Bar will be unacceptably compromised.

The appearance of the commercial blocks especially would be damaging to the historic appearance of the area.

The proposal would set a precedent for effective infill of the harbour.

And Hugh Janes added: “The size of the proposal effectively fills in a significant part of Sutton Harbour.

The loss of views of listed buildings will have an adverse visual impact of beautiful, important listed buildings.”

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters


  • martinpeniak  |  October 07 2013, 1:55PM

    Please do not build this, it is going to spoil the historic look of the entire Barbican. If this gets built I will not longer come down and neither will my friends. Thank you!

    Rate   1
  • pilgrimpete  |  September 19 2013, 3:14PM

    Due to the fact this is a "reissued" item by the Herald, lots of readers will not see the original article or the comments made, one of mine was • "the quote in the article states "With LHC and our historic buildings adviser we listened to all the responses from agencies and local people and took on board a lot of their concerns". So what concerns from local people has he ignored, and more importantly, why is he ignoring them, its another case of "we don't care"" But unless you read the original you will not see what I am referring to, why does the Herald often "reissue" the same story, when they do, quotes I am referring to do not get printed. Is there a hidden agenda. Please read this quick before the Herald removes it

    Rate   5
  • fazer58  |  September 18 2013, 7:56PM

    Change is good in the right place,this like sticking a McDonalds next to Stonehenge.

    Rate   5
  • iBritain  |  September 18 2013, 1:04PM

    History this, history that. The Barbican cant forever remain a time-capsule. The historic building will remain, no body is proposing demolition, just an addition. Change is good, embrace it.

    Rate   -7
  • Lobes  |  September 17 2013, 7:00PM

    Cool design, like it!

    Rate   -19
  • Citizen6  |  September 17 2013, 6:58PM

    I've noticed in the past 15 years, a competition to build the ugliest building in Sutton harbour : This tops the lot , Sutton harbour has completely destroyed one of the jewels of Plymouth , rather like selling your grandmothers jewellery" this can't go on " they should no longer be allowed to hold the keys to what was the most historic part of Plymouth -

    Rate   20
  • milliemop  |  September 17 2013, 6:35PM

    Lets look forward for a change, or should we have kept the slums , after all they were part of historic Barbican. The Mayflower steps aren,t the real ones anyway and wont be touched.

    Rate   -16
  • richardv46  |  September 17 2013, 6:33PM

    An abomination! looks like containers waiting to be loaded onto a container ship. Set alongside the granite cobblestones and upturned cannon bollards of the keyside, this is architectural vandalism and SHH should be ashamed of submitting these plans. But then, if city planners can ok the 45' buff cladding of the Mall, anything is possible.

    Rate   19
  • Waltersmith  |  September 17 2013, 5:56PM

    Th Herald are in favour.... http://tinyurl.com/o32lsll ...which is as good a reason as to why it must not be built. One of the top 5 natural harbours in the world, the Barbican seeping with history, the RWY taking off... ...and this is as good as SHH can come up with, It is even more dreadful than the previous attempt. Millions are being spent elsewhere - it is plain that SHH are a failed company with no money at all - they are taking the area downmarket as their cheap redevelopment of the Barbican and Sutton Harbour has come back to haunt them.

    Rate   25
  • blackbeard9  |  September 17 2013, 5:48PM

    Thank you missvontrap for the council link which I have tried and written the following but as you'd expect the council site will not allow my comment to be posted This scheme does nothing to retain the historical value of The Barbican and Vauxhall Quay in particular. Whilst we need modern facilities to attract the modern visitor, those facilities must be in sympathy with the history of Plymouth's Barbican and Sutton Harbour. This scheme in no way protects the history of the area. I will be very very disappointed if this scheme is approved

    Rate   18