First phase of £200m city centre mixed-use scheme given green light

How the scheme will look

Planning permission for the first phase of the £200m Becketwell regeneration scheme has been granted by Derby City Council’s planning committee.

St James Securities is now clear to build 259 residential units, along with internal and external resident amenities, plus two ground floor commercial units, on land formerly occupied by the Debenhams store, which has since been demolished.

Paul Morris of St James Securities told  “This is a fantastic result which means, after years of work in the background, we have been given the green light to begin the development.

“We are very advanced with the legal documents for the funding of this first phase and look forward to making an announcement very shortly.

“Demolition of the former United Reform Church building, Victoria House, will commence in February and we anticipate a start on site by May.”

The Becketwell scheme has garnered strong support in the city, not least from Marketing Derby and the city council itself.

In a letter submitted to the committee supporting the application, John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, said: “At Marketing Derby, we welcome the proposals of a scheme that will have a transformational part in stimulating the local economy through the development of city living.”

The residential units, aimed at the build-to-rent market, will be created in one single building, which will be stepped in height up to 11 storeys.

It is hoped that building work could start this spring, with the apartments being constructed alongside a new public square.

Becketwell is seen by many as a key project in terms of helping Derby economy bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, alongside other residential-led schemes in the city’s masterplan such as the Nightingale Quarter and Castleward.

Built across a number of phases, Becketwell will also eventually feature office space and a new 3,500 capacity performance venue.

According to Forkin, schemes like Becketwell will attract more people back to the city centre.

In his letter of support, he wrote: “Successful city centres are key drivers for the economy.

“Marketing Derby is working with several end users who are looking to relocate back into Derby city centre from other parts of the East Midlands.

“One of the key drivers for this is the regeneration of the Becketwell area and access to city living for their employees.”