The former Debenhams department store in Derby and surrounding sites including the former Pennine Hotel, NCP Car Park and Laurie House on Colyear Street, have been contracted by St James Securities as part of a deal with Derby City Council.
This will trigger the submission of an outline planning application for the comprehensive redevelopment of Becketwell and a detailed application for the first phase comprising a high quality new public square and 342 Build to Rent apartments.
The exchange of contracts on the sites marks a significant milestone in the delivery of the £200 million regeneration project following lengthy negotiations between Derby City Council and St James Securities.
Phase one of the regeneration scheme comprises of plans for 342 Build to Rent apartments on the site of the former Debenhams store on Victoria Street and a new public square on the site of the current United Reform Church as the centre piece of the development.
The residential development will comprise of two buildings, the tallest of which will extend up to 19 storeys in height. This building will contain 246 apartments over a ground floor café and restaurant overlooking the new square.
The smaller building will house 96 apartments with a convenience store at ground floor fronting Victoria Street. In response to local feedback, this building has been carefully designed to retain the curve of the existing buildings to the Victoria Street frontage. Both buildings will have rear-decked car parking.
The new multi-purpose public square will be the centrepiece of the proposed development and will be delivered as part of the first phase of development.
The planning application will also be supported by a request to include a range of other complementary uses of the site, including up to 25,000 sq m of new grade A offices, innovation centre and leisure to complement the residential and a planned multi storey car park with a smaller more intimate courtyard public square called Summerhill Yard to reflect that part of the site’s historic street name.
When showcased at a public consultation hosted by St James Securities in March, the plans received overwhelmingly positive feedback with 89% of respondents in full support of the project.
The vision for the wider site is to create a whole new part of the city centre with its own distinct character and identity. This will take the form of a series of buildings, spaces and views that will enhance the attractiveness and vitality of the city.
The regeneration 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.
Commenting on the recent developments, Paul Morris, director of St James Securities, said:
“We were delighted to be chosen by Derby City Council in March 2018 to deliver a truly comprehensive and badly needed major regeneration scheme for Derby city centre.
“I am absolutely delighted that contracts have now been signed and put in place and am proud to say after months of consultation the Planning Application has been formally submitted.
“We are hopeful of a successful determination to this Application by the end of 2019, which will enable us to make a start on site late spring 2020.”
Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council added:
“We welcome St James Securities in submitting a planning application for the redevelopment of Becketwell. The area has been in need of regeneration for years and this is a fantastic step in our plans to transform Derby’s city centre.
“The plans will now be submitted to the Planning Control Committee for consideration.”
Funding for the Becketwell project includes £8.1 million in Local Growth Fund investment from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership; the private sector-led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary services which works to promote economic and jobs growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
St James Securities have completed many successful projects of this scale, including St Paul’s Place in Sheffield and the award-winning Round Foundry in Leeds.
The work on the demolition of the former Debenhams building is set to start in September 2019, with construction work on the first phase of development set to commence in 2020.