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Prison Quarter, Canterbury Christ Church University


Location Client Completion
Canterbury Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) Ongoing

Project details

BDP was commissioned to prepare a major planning application and EIA for the redevelopment of the Grade II-listed former prison on Canterbury Christ Church University’s campus. The site forms part of the buffer zone to the World Heritage Site (WHS), and sits between its three Grade I-listed assets: Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church. The historic route and the visual connection between the oldest parish church in England, the abbey and the cathedral is widely understood to be the most significant in Christendom.

At the core of the campus masterplan, also prepared by BDP, was the desire to reintegrate the campus into its historic setting and re-establish physical and visual links between the three parts of the WHS, whilst strengthening the university’s education offer.  The proposals involved substantial demolition of the Grade II listed prison, and new build within the setting of the church, and key viewing corridors across the WHS.

We co-ordinated the planning and listed building application and EIA for the new prison quarter, comprising works to the listed prison, a 17,000sqm new STEM teaching and learning facility, new public realm and connections to the WHS.

The planning process involved close collaboration with Historic England, demonstrating in-depth understanding of the setting, and ICOMOS. Effective engagement with key stakeholders contributed to a successful determination in December 2015, with no objections from amenity groups, statutory authorities or local residents.

A further commission from CCCU saw us secure planning consent in May 2017 for a new 2,500sqm Arts Building designed by Nicholas Hare Architects, adjacent to St Augustine’s Abbey.


  • planning and listed building consent in World Heritage Site context
  • EIA coordination, townscape and visual impact assessment
  • heritage stakeholder engagement (including ICOMOS)


  • planning and Listed Building Consent for Prison Quarter
  • planning consent for Arts Building
  • completion of EIA for Prison Quarter

Integrated services

planning, architecture, sustainability