cathedral-gardens-jpgRichard III and the City of Leicester have been all over the national news in recent months after the discovery of the King’s remains under a Leicester car park.  This historic city now features in Casey news as it is the venue for two major contract wins for P Casey (Land Reclamation) Ltd — Jubilee Square and Cathedral Gardens.

Works on Jubilee Square, to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, commenced in August this year.  This is a major Public Realm scheme which has been designed to enhance the City Centre by the creation of a new Civic Square and public open space, and pedestrian links close to the commercial and retail quarter.

High quality porphyry and granite paving will be the main feature of these works which are located on a site previously used for car parking and Park and Ride facilities.  Leicester City Council’s focus on quality also extends to the soft landscaping which will sensitively punctuate the public realm areas with lawns and common green areas, and the planting of high specification pleached trees and Acers.

 66735335 jubilee-squareThe whole of the Jubilee Square will be lit by a variety of street and feature lighting to give a rich feel to the surroundings and provide a safe comfortable environment for visitors, residents and the surrounding commercial and retail community.

Hard on the heels of the Jubilee Square project follows a contract for the Cathedral Gardens, close by on Peacock Lane. The £2m public realm scheme is just about as prestigious as one can get (except for our recent Buckingham Palace project of course!!) due, in part, to its association with the recent discovery of Richard III’s remains in a nearby car park. The public realm areas around the Cathedral, and pedestrianised part of Peacock Lane, are adjacent to the Richard III Visitor Centre close to where the remains were found.

The high quality of the design and specification is fully in keeping with the location using a mixture of modern materials and concepts but with a respect for the Cathedral and ancient Royal connections.

The areas around the Cathedral will again be paved in high quality porphyry and granite to provide a visitor friendly

pedestrianised public realm and civic area. There will be a rich array of urban soft landscaping including lawns, flowering Juneberry bushes and colourful pleached trees and Acers to complement the surroundings and create a calm oasis in the centre of this bustling historic city.

Richard III’s statue, currently residing in the Castle Gardens will be moved to a location at one end of the Cathedral Gardens outside the King Richard III Visitor Centre opposite the Cathedral. The whole area around the Gardens and along the pedestrianised section of Peacock Lane will receive an array of feature lighting, providing uplighters for the trees and display illumination of various items of street art and the Richard III statue outside the Visitor Centre.

The historic connections of the Cathedral’s original 13th Century establishment as an Abbey Church and the discovery of the remains of England’s last Plantagenet King means that the project will be carried out under an Archaeological Watching Brief by the University of Leicester’s Archaeology Department, especially during initial excavations for drainage channels.  All this brings an extra dimension of interest to the project.  

The whole ethos of both projects is one of quality of design and finish and this is reflected in the selection of materials for paving and installations. It has been important also to select the right teams to deliver the works and this we have done with confidence with the extensive experience and quality track record of the Casey Project and Site Management personnel allocated to the works.  

The University of Leicester hopes to bury the remains of Richard III in Leicester at the Cathedral.  However, the Plantagenet Alliance was granted permission to request a Judicial Review as the original decision on the place of the burial in Leicester ignored a legal requirement for public consultation.  The Alliance would like the King reinterred at York Minster.

The Judicial Review hearing that took place on 26 November 2013 was adjourned until the New Year.