Detailed planning permission has now been granted for the first phase of Derby’s £200 million Becketwell regeneration scheme and development work is expected to begin this spring. At a recent meeting of the Derby City Council planning committee, councillors voted unanimously in favour of developer St James Securities’ landmark scheme.
Phase one of the scheme includes the construction of 259 build-to-rent apartments on the site of the former Debenhams store on Victoria Street. A new 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 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 square metres of grade A offices and commercial space, a hotel and a multi-storey car park.
More than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created by the development, with completion expected at the start of 2023.
Councillor Matthew Holmes, deputy leader of Derby City Council, said: “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.”
Marketing Derby Managing director John Forkin said: “There is much talk about the need to repurpose city centres and by creating new quality homes for 500 people in the heart of Derby, St James Securities is doing exactly what is required.
“This is an important piece in a bigger jigsaw that will not only develop the Becketwell site but also act to build confidence for further investment in Derby.”
Commenting on the news, PDP Director Richard Pigott, said “repurposing city centres, especially in the wake of the pandemic, is crucial to their futures and in this respect Derby is no different. We are pleased to see that the council unanimously supported the proposal despite some local concerns about the scale of the development. This is a bold development which should act as a catalyst for further investment, ensuring that the transformation of the city centre goes from strength to strength”.