'Sympathetic' development on Lace Market escarpment gets the go-ahead22 December 2011
An application for a new office block in Nottingham's historic Lace Market has been given the go-ahead after lengthy negotiations with the developers to protect the iconic view.
The site, between High Pavement and Short Hill, includes the renovation of two Grade 2 Listed former warehouses that have been vacant for many years and a World War Two bomb site. Two Grade 2 Listed buildings on High Pavement currently used as offices make up the rest of the development site.
The development will create a total office floor space of 9544 sq m from a mixture of renovation and refurbishment of the offices and warehouses and partial demolition of some external and internal areas. It will also include a basement car and cycle park.
The City Council's Development Control Committee was told that the location was one of the most sensitive in the city centre, with an iconic view of Nottingham from the south. Consultations and negotiations had been on-going for more than a year to resolve concerns about the height, scale, layout and detailed design of the proposed building.
Developers Studon Holdings were granted planning permission subject to a financial contribution of £38,675 towards improving integrated public transport for the area. The total construction costs are estimated at £12 million and the development should create employment and training opportunities in one of the city's higher-than-average unemployment areas. The total number of full-time construction jobs is estimated at 113 with 319 full-time jobs being created once the new offices are completed.
An archaeological survey will be carried out before work begins. Nottingham City Council's archaeologist said there was potential for significant pre-Norman Conquest archaeology on the previously untouched site.
Among the objectors to the proposals were English Heritage and Nottingham Civic Society. English Heritage said the new building would be out of character with the area and the loss of a cave would take away part of an 'idiosyncratic element of Nottingham's historic environment." The development has since been revised to retain the cave.
Nottingham Civic Society said the development was too high and would impact on views of Grade1 Listed St Mary's Church.
However, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, (CABE) welcomed the designs, saying it worked well in relation to the layered view of nearby Malin Hill.
Chair of the City's Development Control Committee, Councillor Chris Gibson, said: "The City Council has been considering applications for this site for more than six years and has worked for more than a year on this particular application to get a design that will sit comfortably in one of Nottingham's most historic and attractive areas. We believe these plans sit sympathetically alongside St Mary's Church and the nearby buildings.
"The development will bring new life to a very difficult site. It brings back into use a six-storey and a three-storey former warehouse which have been vacant for many years, as well as developing a site that has been derelict since World War Two.
"It will also create much-needed jobs and training in an area of high need, both during the construction work and after the offices open as well as boosting public transport to the site for the workforce."