Go-ahead for 730-home mixed-use scheme on Derby city centre site

Plans have been approved for the development of up to 730 homes on a 2.6-hectare derelict site in Derby city centre, in line with a planning report which advised that it was "logical to seek to optimise the residential capacity of this area".

A visualisation of the finished scheme (pic: St James Securities)
A visualisation of the finished scheme (pic: St James Securities)

Derby City Council members last week approved a hybrid application for the scheme in the Becketwell area of the city centre.

The application, submitted by developer SJS (Derby), sought full planning permission for the demolition of a church and associated retail units, and outline consent for the phased demolition of the site's remaining buildings and the erection of a phased, mixed-use development with retail, business and residential uses.

A planning report, which recommended approval, said that "members will be familiar with the recent history of the site, its predominant state of vacancy and dereliction and the attempts to re-vitalise this part of the city centre".

It advised that an indicative masterplan indicated that the first phase of development "is likely to be residential led, with the potential for in the region of 230 residential units provided in buildings of up to 11 storeys". These would "more than likely" be build to rent homes, the report said.

It also said that later phases could deliver an additional 500 residential units.

The report advised that local planning policy sought a 30 per cent affordable housing rate for such schemes.

It added that the applicant "has agreed to policy compliant contributions" for such contributions.

However, it added that, "as the precise details of the type of development that may come forward are not known at this time, it has been agreed with the applicant that if the S106 contributions, as agreed, threaten the viability of the particular phase that comes forward for reserved matters, the applicant can submit a viability appraisal".

The report said that policy in the council’s local plan "seeks to encourage investment which strengthens and integrates the city centre’s retail, employment, leisure, cultural and residential functions and provides specific support to residential led regeneration on a number of key sites including the Becketwell/Duckworth Square area, as part of efforts to secure the delivery of a minimum of 2,200 new homes across the city centre in the period 2011-2028".

Planners advised that the city centre "is a highly sustainable location, with access to a range of facilities and transport options. It is therefore logical to seek to optimise the residential capacity of this area."

The report concluded that the scheme would contribute to the regeneration "of a long term derelict site that currently has a negative impact on the economy and townscape of the city centre, acting as a catalyst to wider improvement of the area".

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