Plans for huge mixed-use scheme in doubt as Government grants listed status

How the Vita scheme would've looked

Plans to build almost 1,000 student flats on the site of the former Central Police and Fire Station in Nottingham could be blocked after the building was granted listed status – just days before the scheme was due to be voted on by the city council’s planning committee.

Council planning bosses have recommended the scheme – which includes 967 student beds, a gym, a dance studio, co-study spaces, a cinema and a games room, as well as a public facing Market Food Hall with capacity for around 500 diners – for approval.

However, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has granted the 1930s building Grade-II listed status on the advice of Historic England – meaning any development could be blocked.

Vita Group submitted plans last August to transform the former fire and police stations. The scheme was due to be voted on by Nottingham City Council’s planning committee next Wednesday (January 18) – but the planning chief’s report has now been withdrawn.

A Historic England spokesperson told Nottinghamshire Live: “We are pleased that the former police headquarters and central fire station in Nottingham has been listed at Grade II by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the advice of Historic England.

“Built between 1938 and 1940 as combined headquarters for the police and fire departments, the building was designed in a restrained Art Deco style and is an ambitious example of interwar architecture. Its exterior design reflects its active role as a functioning police and fire station, but there are also subtle details within the building including striking Art-Deco doorways.

“Listing marks and celebrates this site’s special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system so it can be protected for the future.”

A city council spokesperson added: “We have been informed that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has accepted Historic England’s recommendations that the former Central Police Station and Fire Station buildings should be given Grade II listed status. We will take stock of this decision before commenting.”

Vita had said that the development was designed to sit “sensitively” on Shakespeare Street, North Church Street and South Sherwood Street and would complement the existing plans already approved for a hotel on the site.

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