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Leslie Jones gets the OK for huge Nottingham scheme

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Nottingham City councillors have voted to approve Leslie Jones Architecture’s plans for a mixed-use development on a key city-centre site

Nottingham City Council’s Planning Committee granted outlined consent for the west London practice’s wide-ranging proposals for the former Boots Island site.

Backed by the Conygar Investment Company, which bought the 16ha site two years ago, the scheme will include 950 homes, 600 student flats, more than 50,000m² of office space, a five-star hotel, retail units, a linear park and community space.

The broader site was cleared for development more than 25 years ago before construction took place in the 1990s of various buildings for the BBC, the NHS, local radio and other entities, many of which are excluded from the current scheme.

Planning permission for a different mixed-use scheme was granted in 2008 but expired three years later after going unused. A temporary public car park on the site will close by October next year.

Historic England told the council it was ’concerned’ about the impact the Leslie Jones scheme might have on the Lace Market conservation area, St Mary’s church and Nottingham Castle.

The heritage body said a 24-storey building on Manvers Street would be ’harmful to the significance and setting of St Mary’s church and Nottingham Castle as a dominant presence in the townscape’. 

However, planners concluded that the site was always going to be developed at scale and noted that key views from Trent Bridge and Lady Bay Bridge would not be directly affected.

Leslie Jones director Brian Tracey said when the now-approved scheme was submitted last year that its ‘big idea’ was to orientate the development around a linear park.

’This creates a new east-west link for the city, and will provide a full range of facilities to develop a proper working community where people can live, work and play in a city-centre location,’ he said.

‘Residential courtyard blocks offering a flexibility in unit typologies face on to the park, while between the courtyard blocks are traditionally proportioned residential streets. Taller buildings have been carefully located at the gateways to the site.

‘The scheme also aims to deliver a revitalised cultural and creative hub for Nottingham with two existing warehouse buildings on the site, one of which is listed, being converted under the masterplan to form a creative market. The masterplan is designed to allow a variety of phasing solutions to adapt to market conditions and demand.’

Conygar chief executive Robert Ware said this week: ’We are delighted with the decision of the planning committee, which follows a long period of consultation with the council and other local stakeholders. This is a significant step toward the redevelopment of this important site for Nottingham and we will continue to work closely with the council to bring the scheme forward as soon as possible.’

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