Albion Square Development Plan gets approval from Planning Committee

Planning Committee has today accepted the development brief for Albion Square in the city centre for ‘each or any of the recommended purposes’.

The development brief provides a concept of what scale of redevelopment could be delivered on the site.

When identified in the second wave of Enterprise Zones across the city in 2015 there became a requirement to provide a simplified planning process for assessing applications for the site.  As with other Enterprise Zones across the city this has led to the production of a development brief.  Albion Square was allocated in the Local Plan (which was consulted on over the summer) as a retail-led mixed use development.

The development brief identifies Albion Square as a prime site for regenerating into a space that is likely to feature retail, housing, leisure and enhanced parking facilities. The area earmarked for development encompasses the BHS and Coop building, the Edwin Davies building and the Albion Street car park.

Councillor Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder for Energy City, said: “The approval of the Albion Square development brief by the planning committee demonstrates the desire to continue the renaissance of the city centre and should support bringing this site forward as a priority in the next few years.

“The creation of the new square outside the former BHS store and the vacation of the entire block now provides an opportunity for a comprehensive redevelopment of the site.  This is the only site of scale within the primary shopping area which could deliver a significant element of the additional retail floor space projected to be needed in the city over the next 15 years.

“The redevelopment of this area is dependent on attracting a private sector developer who is capable of funding, and committed to delivering, redevelopment on this scale within a reasonable timescale.

“We believe that our current investment in the Public Realm, the Ferens, Hull New Theatre and Hull Venue, coupled with major private sector investments including those by Siemens, RB, Smith & Nephew and others, together with the greater visibility of the city on the national and international stage as a result of City of Culture, will make this potential redevelopment a much more attractive proposition to the private sector. We are keen to ensure that parts of the area do not remain vacant indefinitely or are acquired for landbanking purposes.”

Alex Codd, City Planning Manager, added: “It is important that any development in this site is sympathetic to the area, and respects the Georgian New Town Conservation Area, and the retention of the monumental Italian glass mosaic called ‘The Three Ships’.

“This is a key transitional site linking the retail offer on Jameson Street through to the residential offer on Albion Street, and on to the new University Technical College and enhanced New Theatre beyond.”