£200m development boost

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Derby’s number one regeneration priority took a significant step forward this week as Bondholders St James Securities and Derby City Council exchanged contracts, triggering a planning application for a £200m mixed development that received 89% of support in a recent public consultation.

The scheme – which includes £8.1 million in Local Growth Fund investment from Bondholder the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – covers the former Debenhams store, Pennine Hotel, NCP Car Park and Laurie House at Becketwell. The first phase comprises a high quality new public square and 342 Build to Rent apartments.

Paul Morris, director of St James Securities, commented “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 and are hopeful of a successful determination to this application by the end of 2019.”

Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council added “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.”

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Phase one of the regeneration scheme comprises 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 Reformed 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.

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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.

Marketing Derby will be supporting the application following a presentation by St James Securities to the Economic Development Advisory Group. MD John Forkin said “The proposals were really well received by business and the public. They are ambitious enough to transform not only Becketwell, but the wider St Peters Quarter which has suffered decades of decline. Derby has waited too long for a solution and we must grab this opportunity with both hands.”

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: “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.”

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.