The long-awaited redevelopment of the empty Boots Island site has been granted planning permission.
What was described as the largest scheme ever to come before the city council’s planning committee will now see more than 907 flats, 666 student beds, hundreds of new offices, a new hotel and a ‘creative market’.
Councillors said they hoped it will become a ‘visitor attraction in its own right’ today, as they voted in favour of the scheme by 12 votes to one.
The meeting today heard the work will begin in phases, with the western part of the site starting first. This, it is hoped, would include the hotel, which will be near the canal basin.
However, concerns had been raised ahead of the meeting about the impact it could have on shopping in the city.
Intu, who own the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, submitted worries that the development could damage businesses there.
But city planners today said they were confident they had the measures in place to ensure that didn’t happen, including limits on how large the Boots Island retail units could be.
One of the elements of the design is a ‘creative market’ space, which will include some retail, light manufacturing, bars, restaurants and studios.
Sally Longford, who sits on the planning committee, said: “There’s obviously quite a lot of concern from Intu and this creative market space, I do wonder what the role and what the actual thing is about.
“It seems to me that it could be competition for Intu, and it could become another sort of out of town shopping experience, which I’m not in favour of.
“I also think it seems to have elements which conflict or would provide competition for Sneinton market, which is only really just starting to thrive, and that concerns me a bit.”
Planning committee chairman Chris Gibson, said the application was: “One of the biggest schemes, if not the biggest scheme ever to come before this committee, or before most committees in the country.
“We owe it to our city to make sure it is right and good, and I think it is definitely something that should be welcomed.”
Ahead of the meeting, developers Conygar agreed to reduce the proposed height of one of the two largest towers, which are at the western and eastern ends of the site.
The Eastern block, which was going to be the taller of the two, will now be reduced in height by 16 metres (five storeys), so that it is the same height as the other one.
The designs approved today only outlined plans, meaning it was approved in principle, but the final details are yet to be finalised.
The 40-acre site has had a long and complicated history. Bought by developers Conygar in 2017 for £13.5 million, it has previously sat empty for decades.
The planning permission granted today allows 15 years for work to be completed.