Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Derby city centre regeneration scheme takes next step forward

Multi-million-pound plans to regenerate one of Derby city centre’s most important sites have taken another step forward.

Developer St James Securities has submitted a reserved matters application for detailed planning consent for 259 apartments at Becketwell and, subject to approval, hopes to make a start on building work in the spring.

The Leeds-based company has a history of delivering major regeneration schemes and received a committee approval at the start of 2020, with outline permission for its Derby proposals formally granted a week ago, as well as detailed planning approval to develop the centrepiece of the scheme, a new public square.

It also intends to create offices and commercial space as part of an investment of more than £200m and has partnered with Derby City Council to deliver a new 3,500-capacity performance and conference arena on part of the site.

More than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created by the development.

Demolition of the former Derby Debenhams store which occupied part of the site was completed earlier this year and now the reserved matters application for the apartments that, together with the public square, will form phase one of the scheme, has been lodged.

St James Securities development director Paul Morris said the company was in advanced discussions with funders for the scheme and hoped to be able to announce the name of its backers soon.

“It was great to see the old Debenhams building come down. It’s about momentum and the building coming down was a statement,” he said.

“Gaining detailed approval will enable us to get on to site. At the moment, the programme is showing a start on work in April, with completion at the end of 2022.

“We are looking forward to delivering a quality scheme that will help revitalise a long-neglected area of the city and contribute to improving the vibrancy and attraction of the city centre overall.”

Progress on the scheme has been welcomed by Councillor Matthew Holmes, deputy leader of Derby City Council and cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transportation. He said: “The Becketwell scheme can be a game-changer for Derby city centre and we very much look forward to continuing to work with St James Securities to bring about this welcome and much-needed investment.”

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