St James Securities (SJS), a long established, privately owned Leeds-based property developer, is working in partnership with Derby City Council to deliver the comprehensive regeneration of the Becketwell area. This will include a mix of homes, workspace, hotel, retail and leisure uses, in addition to a new public square for the city.

SJS have successfully delivered similar award-winning developments in other cities and are excited about the potential of Becketwell and the positive impact that a high quality development can have on the city centre.

St Paul’s Place,


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.

Round Foundry,


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 Becketwell Scheme


“Since the closure of the former Duckworth Square Shopping Centre in the late 1980’s, a number of proposed developments have been promoted across the site.


These range from supermarkets to health-hubs, headquarter offices to an ice rink and an urban entertainment centre. 


Fragmented land ownership and the lack of a comprehensive plan/delivery programme ultimately undermined most of those commercial and residential schemes.”

Proposals to regenerate the Becketwell site have a long and chequered past. Currently the site contributes very little to the social, economic or environmental fabric of the city centre; indeed it detracts from it.


SJS have learnt from the mistakes of the past and by working with Derby City Council who have had the foresight to assemble a large part of the site over recent years, we are determined to realise a vision which is both aspirational and deliverable.

Why Development is Necessary

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

Phase One

The new residential development to be built on the former Debenhams building will comprise two buildings, the taller extending up to 17 storeys in height. This building will contain 220 apartments over a ground floor café and restaurant overlooking the new square. The building is designed to be bold, to signify the transformation underway.

The smaller building will house 90 apartments over a retail store and will retain the curve of the existing buildings to the Victoria Street frontage. Both buildings will be finished primarily in brick and will have basement car parking.

The vision for the wider site is to create a series of buildings, spaces and views that contribute to the attraction and vitality of the city; we intend to create a whole new part of the city centre with its own distinct character and identity.

New Public Square

The centrepiece of the proposed development is the new public square, which will be delivered as part of the first phase of development.  The square will ‘open up’ the land to the south and thereby provide the means by which it can be brought into use.

It is envisaged that the square will be multi-purpose, but with a focus on interaction with adjoining buildings and as a place to pause and relax, rather than a formal civic meeting or gathering place.

Regeneration Benefit


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:


The scheme represents c. £200m of investment in Derby City Centre.

Operational Jobs

Circa 2,000 – 2,700 FTE jobs will be created, depending on the exact mix of uses across the site. This has been calculated by applying the standard job density ratios based on the HCA Employment Density Guide (2015).

Construction Jobs

It is estimated that 98 construction jobs per month will be created over the duration of the 10 year development period. The level of employment has been estimated using the CITB labour forecasting tool.

Resident Expenditure

Phase 1 (310 units) will deliver a net additional resident expenditure, available for local shops and services equating to an estimated spend of £2.1m (per annum) for comparison goods  and £1.4m (per annum) for convenience goods.

Council Tax

Based on the average Council Tax charge for Derby City Council (2018/19), Phase 1 (310 units) will generate circa £640,000 in additional Council Tax receipts per annum.


There is now a rental revolution in the UK with demand for private rental homes outstripping supply. Derby is a case in point attracting some of the highest paid graduates in the country to work for some of the UK’s best employers but with a distinct lack of high quality housing. A Build to rent scheme at Becketwell will be highly attractive to potential residents with strong interest from institutional investors.

However, perhaps some of the more significant benefits are less easily quantified but are evident through case studies of other similar regeneration projects. These include:

• 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

Planning Application


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.


Would you agree that the Becketwell area requires comprehensive regeneration and improvement?


Do you support the proposals that have been displayed today?


New residential development will kick-start Becketwell, but which additional uses do you see as important to transforming the wider area

New Office AccommodationFurther New Living spaces.New day and night-time food/beverage/leisureNew hotelImproved car parkingOther

Any additional comments:



Tel: 0113 245 8855 Visit: www.sjs.co.uk