LLA were appointed to prepare an LVIA for this sensitive site and to work closely with the Architects, Heritage Specialists, Local Authority and local residents to design in a sympathetic and economically viable development proposal. This project formed part of the first ever batch of prison conversions undertaken, following the Ministry of Justice (MoJ)’s sale of several of their major assets, which was initiated in 2015. LLA were delighted to be a part of this initiative of MoJ asset adaption. The Former Dorchester Prison was decommissioned and vacated in 2013, and is now owned by City & Country Residential Limited. The historic prison buildings are to be retained and converted into residences, accompanied by the construction of new buildings to form Mansion Blocks within the prison walls, open landscape terraces and courtyard gardens. Our brief was to prepare a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA), addressing the issues relevant to the proposals for the site, to accompany the planning application.
Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team of architects, engineers and heritage specialists Liz Lake Associates undertook a thorough analysis of the baseline conditions through desk study, field work and a photographic survey of the site and its surroundings. With the prison containing numerous Listed Buildings and being bounded on three sides by the Dorchester Conservation Area, the local landscape was deemed to be of a high susceptibility to change. Producing an LVIA, we assessed the impact the development will have on this surrounding landscape and visual receptors. Throughout the design process, Liz Lake Associates worked closely with the multi-disciplinary team to suggest mitigation methods, in order to reduce any adverse effects of proposed changes to the prison in its conversion to residential use.
Our valuable input into the building conversion and design has enabled the proposals to integrate sympathetically into the surroundings, with detailed considerations given to the existing neighbourhood. The 3D visualization team was also appointed to produce digital wireframe images to aid the impact assessment process and help inform the Local Planning Authority of the potential impacts.