St Paul’s Place is a key element in the transformation of Sheffield City Centre. The development has seen the creation of office space, complemented with an exciting mix of cultural, retail, residential and restaurant uses to create a new part of the city.
This development won an RICS award for International Regeneration Project of the Year. The project involved the sensitive conversion and adaptation of a range of significant Grade 2 and 2* listed historic buildings. By adding contemporary new buildings we were able to develop an urban village with its own distinct character and community.
The problems of the high street are well documented and Derby will only thrive as a city if more people can be attracted to live and work in the city centre.
Bringing people in significant numbers to live and work in the city centre will provide round the clock demand for facilities and services and will create a growing community – which is how a city can rebalance its economy in the face of the challenges affecting high streets and city centres across the country.
It is no coincidence that the most successful cities are those with the most diverse and comprehensive economic and social base. Becketwell is the only opportunity large enough to provide a destination suitably attractive to persuade people and businesses (not just from Derby) that wouldn’t previously have considered the city centre to locate here.
The site makes up approximately 3.5% of the city centre as defined by the ring road. The site is, therefore, big enough to make a difference.
An ambitious development is required to change people’s perceptions of Becketwell and the city centre as a whole.
In order to ensure delivery over time, the proposals will largely respect existing ownership and plot patterns across the site, including the internal road network.
An outline planning application will seek a flexible planning permission on defined building plots for a range of uses across the majority of the site, whilst a ‘full’ (detailed) planning application will be submitted for a residential development on what largely equates to the former Debenhams building.
It is proposed that the residential development on the former Debenhams site will be delivered first, to be followed over a period of years by the remainder, which will be the subject of separate planning applications over time.
Key elements of the scheme include:
• A new public square for the city centre
• Approximately 310 residential units in the first phase of the development, with more to follow
• Reinstatement of Summerhill Yard, and the heritage focussed enhancement of the area adjoining the Hippodrome
• Up to 25,000 sq m of business space catering for all markets, from start-up to established corporate occupiers
• A new feature building to frame the public square
• New hotel, restaurants and cafes around the square and leisure space
• 500 pay and display car parking spaces in a new multi-storey car park
Regeneration of the Becketwell site will deliver a wide range of benefits for the city centre and beyond.
Some of these benefits can be readily quantified, and include the following:
• Re-populating the city centre and the positive effect this has on activity beyond traditional shop opening hours, natural surveillance and the perception of safety
• Civic pride in high quality new spaces and buildings
• Providing a competitive alternative to out of centre workspace e.g Pride Park
• Rebalancing the focus of activity in the city centre
• Providing confidence for further new investment in the city centre
• Improving the cities offer when compared against competing local centres e.g Nottingham
The planning application 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.
This will be in addition to detailed drawings and visuals, plus an assessment of the potential impacts on various heritage assets in the city centre. It is proposed that the regeneration will happen in phases over the next 10 years as market conditions and land assembly permit.