Broadmarsh renewal gets planning permission

Wondering where the sudden leap in visits to this web-site was coming from – of course – it’s skyscrapers.com. I should have guessed earlier.
4660 posts on a thread on the Broadmarsh renewal that goes back to 2007. Respect.
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Seems many of their readers will not be pleased with the news that planning permission has been granted, but there’s a range of points to make:
a) a previous GBP750m scheme envisaged something like the biggest shopping precinct in Europe (I need to double-check the hyperbole – but it was huge); and it didn’t happen;
b) there is a change in the mix, with a new cinema with co-existing restaurants a new and significant feature; and previous reports show there is a demand to be met;
c) despite some remarks, there is an intent to deliver this scheme, and in 2018;
d) the Planning committee has to assess what is presented with, and the planning guidance is becoming even more pro-developer.
The elements of the scheme, some of which were celebrated at the committee, are –
1. a lighter brighter wider passage from Collin Street to Listergate;
2. a new entrance from Middle Hill that will most probably serve a future tram stop and a new tertiary college campus; with a dramatic cinema complex running around Collin Street;
3. a new Drury Walk, on the old line of Drury Hill, acting as an extension to the successful Bridlesmith Gate, with new shops that evoke that street’s architecture.
The risks of the new design were understood by officers and Councillors –
1. despite being enclosed and keeping the overhead services bridge, the glazing and light has been increased and the shop fronts will have outdoor material frontages; we need to check how doors and entrances will actually work;
2. the new entrance was moved south and external materials and overall profiles re-visited;
3. the notion of the Drury Walk being pastiche was checked and the designs refined; not sure the etched concrete feature couldn’t be improved.
The broader problems that remain are –
i) it’s hard to bring pedestrianisation of Collin Street, the new tram stop and the new college campus at the same time as the centre renewal, and some of the centre re-design might be different once Collin Street is made car-free;
ii) once there is no new second access into the centre (opposite the car park), the “wall” that is such a challenge to Nottingham remains; worse the length of the cinema puts the emphasis on Collin Street activity to introduce the features that might break the “wall” up;
iii) we’d like the Arndale car park to not be something that blocks the view of the Castle; bill – GBP35m? and who’d pay?
iv) Collin Street may well become a 300m by 22m public space, although the planned renewal of the Broadmarsh car park should only help.
I hope this helps Skyscraper readers.
Finally, I was concerned that whilst other streets between the railway station and Old Market Square are 18m or so wide (Carrington Street, Listergate, Albert Street, Wheelergate), the link between Listergate Square and Collin Street is 9 metres wide (the same as Broad Walk) and asked for it to be wider to support the flow of pedestrians and others; but I lost.
Previous reading available.

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