The Hargreaves site on the corner of Portland Street and Church Street has been granted planning consent for redevelopment after standing empty for 15 years.
The site [see earlier story] had planning consent for 35,000 sq ft of office space and associated parking but it was never implemented.
The new scheme, which was approved at Tuesday’s planning committee meeting, proposes six three-bedroom family homes and three two-bedroom apartments, two retail outlets on the ground floor, 25 car parking spaces and six offices.
ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP COMMENT
Excellent to see this small but well-placed site get planning consent which entailed the owners, Hargreaves Group, working closely with the city planners during the development of the plans for the site.
Although formerly an employment site, the proposed mix of uses is likely to become more common in the city as we try to accommodate the need for employment space with the need for affordable housing, especially family homes. Any city-wide net loss of employment space needs to be carefully monitored but it is becoming increasingly obvious that compromises will have to be made to bring about development in these dire economic times.
The only negative aspect is the provision of two retail units. It is common for new developments to have some retail on the ground floor because it offers an element of on-street security and, in theory, adds vibrancy to the street scene but this location is a graveyard for retail. In a city centre with 1,447 shops [not including London Road and St James’s Street] we really don’t need any more, especially in streets with no pedestrian flow.
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