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Monday, September 16, 2019

Seven-storey office block near Nottingham’s station expected to be approved

Concerns have been raised by both English Heritage and the Nottingham Civic Society about the height and scale of the building.

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A high-end office block is set to be built on a derelict strip of land near Nottingham Train Station providing new office space for around 1,150 workers.

The multi-million pound scheme, known as Crocus Place, is expected to be given the green light by Nottingham City Council planning bosses on June 19.

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An occupant has been provisionally secured for the whole building, but is yet to be announced, the council said. It is not yet clear whether it is a company or organisation already based in the city.

The building, which is 125,000sq ft, is set to be built on land which was formerly an operations base for the tram extension.

The plans submitted to the Labour-run authority include a cafe and meeting spaces on the ground floor.

It will also have 30 standard car parking bays, two disabled parking bays, four electric vehicle parking bays, 115 cycle parking spaces and four spaces for motorcycles.

A council report on the application, which has been recommended for approval, said: “Local employment and training opportunities will arise from this development and discussions are underway with the applicant to secure the delivery of these opportunities through working with the council’s employer hub.”

However, concerns have been raised by both English Heritage and the Nottingham Civic Society about the height and scale of the building.

English Heritage said: “We support in principle the development of this vacant site which will contribute to the strategic development of this area of Nottingham which your local authority is pursuing.

“However, we consider that the scheme as currently proposed would have a significant, adverse impact on the significance of the Grade II* listed (railway) station by markedly reducing its prominence in views south along Carrington Street.

“The information currently provided is insufficient to properly understand the full impact and we recommend that a verified photomontage at an appropriate size is provided from a representative point on Carrington Street.

“We consider that the building diminishes the townscape presence of the historic corner buildings on the junction of Queen Street and Arkwright Street due to the full height of the building extending close to the corner buildings.

“This would harm the significance, character and appearance of the conservation area.

“We advise that the building should be stepped down in height at its northern end to better integrate with the historic townscape at this important junction. This may also reduce the impact in views of the station looking south along Carrington Street.”

Nottingham Express Transit (NET), which runs the trams, has also raised concerns about the application, specifically that more work needs to be done to prevent pedestrians using the nearby tram bridge.

NET said: “The operations manager from Nottingham Trams has concerns around this development and others around the Nottingham Station Viaduct.

“No additional provisions are being made for pedestrian access to the tram stop at Nottingham Station. We experience a lot of pedestrians using the viaduct for access when it is not suitable or designed for such use.

“A number of new schemes are envisaged for this area and the north of the station but no considerations are being made for the safe routing of pedestrians.

“It is recommend that the applicant work with the NET/Tram operators to ensure that safety measures are in place to prohibit improper use of the viaduct and that measures to promote acceptable pedestrian routes to the tram stops are promoted.”

The proposed building is one of a slew of developments happening nearby, including the 7,000 jobs at the Unity Square block office the train station which is currently being built, and dozens of other new development in the pipeline.

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