New office block go ahead20 February 2010
A major new office development has been given the go-ahead in Nottingham.
Three office blocks, including shops, bars and restaurants, have been approved by Nottingham City Council.
The development will be on the former site of the Hartwell Ford dealership, next to the Eastcroft incinerator, off London Road.
The buildings planned by the Oakhill Group Ltd would be arranged around a central courtyard, and make use of the canal which runs alongside the site.
They would be between four and eight storeys.
Councillors on the development control committee broadly supported the application for outline planning permission, but there were some concerns.
Coun Cat Arnold likened the largest building, which has a metal frame appearance, to a "toaster".
"In general terms I think it is a good design and I am very positive about it," she said. "But I am not happy with the 'Meccano tower'. It reminds me of a toaster."
A full planning application will set out detailed designs.
Coun Mo Munir said: "Anything is better than what was there before but we need good-quality design because this is one of the major routes into the city."
Coun Alan Clark declared he was "excited" by the scheme.
He said it was a difficult site to develop and the land could easily become "a bit of a backwater".
"This is a welcome commitment to doing something in a difficult area," he said.
Meanwhile, Coun Graham Chapman said he wanted to be reassured the developers planned to target the development at the top end of the office market.
"We need to upgrade the office offer in the city," he said.
Committee chairman Coun Chris Gibson, said: "There is potential here and I look forward to the detail scheme coming forward."