Derby residents turn out in force at public consultation for Becketwell development plans

Hundreds of Derby residents and members of the business community attended a public consultation event in Derby’s intu Centre to give their views on plans to regenerate the Becketwell area of the city.


Visitors were able to examine the development plans in detail, meet members of the project team and ask questions before being invited to give their views in a questionnaire. Public feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with 95% of respondents throwing their support behind the project.


The event was staged by Leeds-based developers St James Securities (SJS), who are working in partnership with Derby City Council to deliver the comprehensive regeneration of the Becketwell area.


The regeneration of the site, which makes up approximately 3.5% of the city centre, will include a mix of homes, workspace, hotel, retail and leisure uses, along with an exciting new public square for the city.


When completed, the scheme plans to provide over 500 residential units, a new public square, up to 25,000 m2 of business space, hotel, restaurants and cafes and a 500-capacity multi-storey carpark, which will contribute to the reinstation of Summerhill Yard.


The site of the former Debenhams building on Victoria Street will be the first area to undergo development.


A new residential development will be built, comprising of two buildings, the tallest of which will extend up to 17 storeys in height.  This building will contain 220 apartments over a ground floor café and restaurant overlooking the new square.  


The smaller building will house 90 apartments over a retail store. 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 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.


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.


Commenting on the success of the consultation event, Paul Morris, director of St James Securities, said:


“It was great to see so many Derby residents and key members of the business community take an active interest in the development of their city.


“We’ve been looking forward to showcasing the spectacular plans that our project team have been working on alongside Derby Council over the past 12 months and have been blown away by the overwhelmingly positive and supportive feedback we have received.


“It’s good to see that the Derby public want the site to become prosperous and vibrant again. We’re confident about the potential of Becketwell and the positive impact that a high-quality development can have on the city centre.”


Comments made by members of the public on the scheme include the following:


“Long overdue. The proposals appear to be high quality and an eclectic mix of architecture styles. Don’t listen to the moaners and nay-sayers!”

“The high apartment block is at the end of the strand which is a lovely Victorian Street. The new block needs to be of an excellent design to enhance the area.”


“Brilliant to have bold plans for Derby centre, the area is not attractive and hopefully this plan happens, let’s get it done!”


“Great to see pro-active development in a much-needed area of the city.”


An outline planning application is set to be submitted in May will be accompanied by a range of technical documentation covering matters such as traffic generation and car parking, air quality, ecology, ground contamination, flood risk and drainage assessments.


Subject to planning consent being granted, work on the demolition of the former Debenhams building is set to take place in 2019, with construction work set to commence in the spring of 2020.


Anyone who did not get the chance to attend the consultation event is invited to inspect the plans and submit their feedback at

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