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Historic Nottingham building could be flattened to make way for 13-storey tower

today30 June 2022

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A historic city centre building may be demolished to make way for a new 13-storey tower. The former Nottingham Fire and Police station would be replaced with a huge student complex that would contain 987 beds, if plans are approved.

The new buildings would vary in height from eight to 13-storeys, forming three sections stemming from the main Shakespeare Street façade. Inside the building there would be a residents’ hub and communal facilities, a new ground floor public food hall, as well as public open spaces.

Hilary Silvester, the executive chair of the Nottingham Civic Society, said the loss of the building’s loss would result in a ‘total change’ of the area. “It is actually a very historic building and it is pleasant building. They started building it pre-war in the late 30’s and then it was finished during the war. As a result it was built with air raid shelters underneath it,” Ms Silvester said.

Read more: Nottingham city centre buildings demolished in plan to ‘create life’ in area

“There were meant to be the first buildings in a big civic redevelopment. To let these plans go ahead would totally change Shakespeare Street, and be just opposite the Arboretum Conservation area

“It would impact at least two listed buildings, and is simply too tall. We don’t want to lose the fire and police station because they are historically important and enhance the area, if preserved.

“The plans would be very detrimental, and to go up to 13-storeys is outrageous and the size and scale of it, with all the people living there, would add to congestion. It would also impact the Arkwright building and the Guildhall.”

A planning document has stated the site’s developer expects demolition works to commence in October/November 2022, with the construction finishing in summer 2025. Locals had mixed opinions on the freshly revealed plans.

A general view of Guildhall Place in Shakespeare Street, Nottingham city centre.
A general view of Guildhall Place in Shakespeare Street, Nottingham city centre.

Mehmood Jadoon, 45, who works as a surgeon, thought the plans would make a “big difference” to the street. “It will be a paradise for students probably the best idea for it. I think we would rather have that than leave it abandoned.

“This will at least make it useful for people. It will make a big difference to this street, it would probably block it out a little bit though.

“If it could be restored that would be great but if that cannot be done it cannot sit there forever.” Tony Chapman, 54, who lives near to the potential development, said: “I think it will be a bit of shame really. Surely they would be able to incorporate some of the old building into any new one.

“It’s quite an imposing building, it’s one of the only lasting bits of history left down here. I’m old-fashioned so I’d like to see some of the older building stay.

“Is there not enough student housing here now. A lot of building is going on already for new student places all across the city.”

A Nottingham resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It was quite an impressive building when it was open, but now it’s an eyesore with the broken windows and boards.

“There’s quite a lot going on around here with the new university building, and the Victoria Centre close to it. It needs something doing to it and it is right next to the campus.”

Recently as much as £130,000 was signed off by Nottingham City Council to undertake structural surveys of neighbouring Grade-II listed Guildhall and clear pigeon droppings ahead of its transformation into a luxury hotel with a rooftop restaurant. The East Midlands Chamber said the two projects would see the area realise its potential.

East Midlands Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles said: “After laying derelict for a number of years, it’s exciting to see some plans come forward for revamping a prime brownfield site in the heart of Nottingham. Within the context of progress also being made to transform the neighbouring Guildhall site, we can begin to envision a new thriving area of the city and finally realise its untapped potential.

“The site’s proximity to Nottingham Trent University’s main campus makes it an obvious location for student accommodation and will no doubt encourage inhabitants to spend a large chunk of their time, and money, in the city centre. At a time when city centres are evolving into a place for combined living, working, studying and spending leisure time, this will be a boost for the businesses located nearby and attract new ones to the area too.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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