New images have been released showing how a derelict cinema near Nottingham’s train station is set to be transformed into a nine-storey apartment block.
Approval has been given to replace the dilapidated building in Queen’s Road, opposite the BeerHeadz micropub, in a boost to the continued development of the city’s south side.
The development will be made up of two blocks – one nine storeys and another six storeys – and will accommodate 39 flats, as well as shops, business units or cafes on the ground floor.
Unusually, a clause has been entered into the approval stating the ground floor commercial buildings must be occupied within six months of the residents moving in.
Developers have also been told to carry out a wildlife study.
It is the latest of a host of new buildings in the pipeline nearby, including the new HMRC building and a new office block immediately next to the Queen’s Road development, known as Crocus Place.
Councillor Michael Edwards represents the Meadows ward for Labour – the ward where the building will be built.
He is also the chairman of the Planning Committee and said when it came to the aesthetics of the building, the committee had previous experience, having decided on the Crocus Place office block in June last year.
“We had been through this already a little bit with the consideration of the Crocus Place office block.
“We had graphics from that which kind of showed that it goes down the hill a bit, and you can only really see the office block from Carrington Street from certain angles.
“So there was this concern that the buildings (the flats) were going to be too big compared to the railway station, but we thought from street level (on Carrington Street), by the time you get to see these buildings you’re basically past the railway station, so we thought they were a reasonable size.
“They also address what we think is a need in the city, which is to provide accommodation in the city centre, approximate to where the transport is.”
When asked about the clause which means owners have to find occupants for the commercial units within six months, Councillor Edwards said: “The challenges on the high street is an issue, but the reason it was made particularly pertinent in this situation is that that location is where a lot of people get off the train and see the city, and we didn’t want them to see vacant units in a high-profile location.
“But it’s not a judgement on the ideas of the application itself, it’s just a thing that says we are anxious to see them be active on the issue.”
The development is planned to include one and two-bedroom apartments.
However, objections were raised over the height of the building by Nottingham Civic Society.
In an official objection, they stated: “The building which is to be even taller than the Picture Works to the east, would tower over the Station from the south, undermining the landmark status of the Station Clock Tower cupola.
“Seen from Sheriff’s Way to the west, the proposed tall building would tower above the former bank which used to command the junction of Arkwright St with Sheriff’s Way – a characteristic of the Station Conservation Area where corner buildings assert themselves.
“In addition, the mass of the proposed building would interrupt one of the key views identified in the City Centre Urban Design Guide looking from the Embankment towards the Station Clock Tower.
“This tall building – only the width of the tram lines apart from the Picture Works – would obliterate this cherished long view without any public benefit being offered to balance this loss.
“The height, mass and architecture should be redesigned to respect the setting of the listed and locally listed buildings and the character and appearance of the conservation area.”