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Controversial Nottingham city centre scheme by Leonard Design set for approval

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A proposed replacement of a major structure in Nottingham city centre has been recommended for approval by planning officers, who dismissed concerns raised by Historic England

Leonard Design Architects’ plans for Broadmarsh car park and bus station will be in front of Nottingham City Council ’s planning committee later today (21 February).

The scheme proposes the replacement of the currently-under-demolition 1970s building on the site with a terracotta and glass-clad scheme featuring an 11-bay bus station, 2,106m2 of commercial space and 1,373 car park spaces.

Historic England said that it was ‘concerned about the impact of the structure on the view and appreciation of the Grade II*-listed Council House dome from Carrington Street’, while public consultation comments included that the development would be ‘an eyesore’ and ‘not of a suitable design standard’.

The Nottingham Civic Society complained that a proposed high-level bridge from a cinema to the car park ‘interrupts a view of Nottingham Castle seen along Collin Street’.

But planning officers said the proposed development was considered to be ‘acceptable in terms of its layout, scale, mass, design and external appearance and would significantly enhance the built environment of this part of the city centre’.

They said in a report to councillors that assessment of the impact of the proposals on the ‘very specific view’ noted by Historic England suggested ‘less than substantial harm’, outweighed by the overall public benefits of the scheme.

The report added that the footbridge over Collin Street was approved as part of an interconnected scheme and could be a ‘high-quality, lightweight structure’. 

Architects’ view

John Morgan, director at Leonard Design Architects, said: ’This is a very complicated development and the design of the building must benefit multiple stakeholders including Highways England, intu, the new cinema operator and bus station while also creating active retail frontage onto Collin Street and Carrington Street.

’The council has tackled the project head on and together we have provided an exciting and viable solution. This will create improved active retail frontages on all sides of the building, facilitating the proposed road closure and removal of traffic from Collin Street and Carrington Street, which will transform this area of the city.

’Following comments made by Historic England concerning the scheme, Nottingham City Council appointed a specialist heritage consultant to assess the visual impact of the building on the view and appreciation of the Grade II* -listed Council House. Following a thorough assessment, the results showed that the development would cause less than substantial harm.

’The new Broadmarsh car park and bus station offers a fantastic gateway into the city and we are very much looking forward to seeing progress continue. It is a key development within the wider regeneration of Nottingham city centre and already we have seen surrounding derelict, historic buildings being redeveloped.’

Postscript: The scheme was approved by councillors on 21 February as expected.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Another development that goes to show the totally banal and uninspired attitude there is to architecture in the UK. Our cities need better architecture.

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