59 Lansdown, Cheltenham

Replicating regency grandeur in a protected historic town


From humble beginnings as a rundown former police station, close to Cheltenham town centre, our 1.06-hectare Lansdown Road site has been transformed into a prime development of 67 quality new family homes of a high specification.

Set within a complex historic environment which includes the Lansdown Character Area, the Cheltenham Central Conservation Area, and four Grade II listed buildings, ensuring the developed stayed true to the character of the area was our priority from day one.

Working closely with community and local authority stakeholders, we designed and delivered a development sensitive to its surroundings that had the support of the town. 


The opportunity

The original building, in an architecturally historic area, was a detractor in an otherwise popular residential neighbourhood just a mile from Cheltenham’s popular town center.

In 2008, Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) formally potential for conversion to residential, convinced by the site’s close proximity to green and open space, education, employment, and local and national transport links.

In light of the site’s viability and potential, Cala acquired the land from the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner on an unconditional basis to redevelop the outdated offices and deliver spacious new homes for Cheltenham.  

Our approach

Cheltenham is known as the most complete Regency town in England, and the town’s Central Conservation Area is so large that it has been segmented into 19 character areas, one of which is the Lansdown Character Area. The boundaries of the Lansdown Character Area are based on the historic Lansdown Estate, which dates from the early and mid-19th Century.

The area contains large numbers of Regency and early Victorian villas and terraces, as well more than 200 statutory listed buildings and some locally listed buildings. Buildings facades and the streetscape together contribute to the unique character of Lansdown.

In order to secure consent, throughout the design phase the Cala team closely collaborated with the Council and the community through letter drops, hosting a ‘Near Neighbours’ event to discuss the proposals, setting up a dedicated webpage, and creating a presentation for a nearby retirement complex. Once the proposals went to public consultation, they were supported unanimously.

Cala’s approach was influenced by the local Regency architecture. Twenty-five three- and five-bedroom villas are arranged in a Georgian-inspired curved terrace, with the scale and proportion of these homes reflecting principles of Georgian architecture with tall windows and sophisticated cornicing. Inside, homes feature sash windows, traditional high ceilings with elegant, detailed cornicing, extraordinary tall door frames, and roof lanterns.

As a means of sensitively increasing density and maximising the delivery of new homes, 42 one- and two-bedroom , including four penthouses, are situated within three buildings of to the front of the site. Outside, the development is framed by the rich landscaping of mature retained trees and newly planted trees.

The planning application, jointly submitted with The Office of Police and Crime Commissioner, was presented to CBC. It was ultimately approved due to the proposals being so radically different to that of other housebuilders. Cala understood the importance behind the proposed scheme encapsulating placemaking principles whilst being respectful of its historic surroundings.

Where are we now?

59 Lansdown has taken an underused and outdated brownfield site and delivered a beautiful, well-crafted addition to a sought-after area in Cheltenham. Reimagining Georgian architecture for the 21st century, the development features three grand period-inspired apartment buildings providing an attractive frontage onto Lansdown Road, and was nationally recognized for its quality, winning Bronze for Best Development in the 2020 Whathouse Awards.

Responding to the requirement for placemaking principles in its design, the development is now home to attractive street façades framed by the rich landscaping of mature retained trees and newly planted trees.

The scale and proportion of the villas reflect the principles of Georgian architecture. Inside, the homes feature sash windows, traditional high ceilings with elegant, detailed cornicing, taller doors and roof lanterns that flood the properties with natural light.

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