Detailed planning permission has been granted for the first phase of the £200m regeneration of the Becketwell area of Derby city centre, with development work to start in late Spring.
Funding for the Becketwell project includes £8.1 million in Local Growth Fund investment from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. The funding is subject to a final business case and approval by the D2N2 Board.
At a meeting of the Derby City Council planning committee, councillors voted unanimously in favour of developers St James Securities’ landmark scheme.
With detailed planning consented, the company will now be able to start to work-on phase one of the scheme, which includes the construction of 259 build to rent apartments on the site of the former Debenhams store on Victoria Street.
A new high quality public square on the site of the former Central United Reformed Church remains the centrepiece of the development and will also be delivered as part of the first phase.
Work is already well underway to bring forward a second phase to comprise a new 3,500-capacity performance and conference venue on the site of Laurie House offices and the former Pink Coconut nightclub.
Future planned phases of the scheme include a range of other complementary uses of the site including up to 25,000 sq. m of new grade A offices and commercial space, a hotel and a multi-storey car park.
The regeneration of the Becketwell area is expected to bring numerous benefits to the city, including a repopulation of both office workers and residents to the city centre which will help boost activity outside of traditional retail hours.
It is also hoped that the substantial levels of investment proposed at Becketwell will provide confidence for further new investment in surrounding areas of the city centre.
More than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created by the development.
Commenting on the decision to grant planning permission for phase one of the Becketwell scheme, Paul Morris, development director at St James Securities said:
“We are delighted that planning has been granted for what will be a landmark regeneration scheme for the city.
“We and our wider team of consultants have been working on the scheme for more than three years. To receive a unanimous decision from the planning committee is a vindication that our scheme is the right fit for the city and will provide the impetus to kick-start further investment.
Councillor Matthew Holmes, deputy leader of Derby City Council and cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation, said:
“We very much welcome the exciting progress on the Becketwell development. A thriving city centre is vital for Derby’s future economic prosperity and this project will be transformational – allowing hundreds of people to live in high-quality homes in the heart of the city and breathing new life into an area which has been challenged for many years.”
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