Plans submitted to Leicester City Council reveal intentions to build seventy-three new homes in Leicester City Centre. The new one and two-bed homes will be built in the Leicester Waterside area, West of the City Centre near All Saints Church, outside of the Highcross Shopping Centre, Leicester.
The plot spans 1’056sqm between Great Central Street, Highcross Street and All Saints Open and is being developed by All Saints’ Place Leicester (Registered trading name: All Saints (Leicester) Ltd) who are yet to submit planning applications, according to their website (though according Leicester City Council, an application was received by them on 23rd January 2018 for the same location by Montague Evans LLP, who we expect to be the developer though this isn’t immediately clear as the planning application may regard a development owned by Charles Street Buildings Group regarding a hotel being built on Vaughan Way), but no decision has yet been made) for the plot so all plans are just concepts at the moment and public consultation is still open (you can provide feedback by clicking here or visiting this link: http://www.allsaintsplace.co.uk/feedback-form/). It’ll consist of studio apartments, one bed and two bed flats as well as associated car and cycle parking along with other amenities.
The developers’ website says they’ve “carefully considered in context to the wider site and surrounding area, based on local and national planning and urban design guidance.”
They’re taking into consideration the cultural heritage of the area as well as taking into context future development of the surrounding areas.
The site was formerly occupied by a factory but is currently vacant, neglected and overgrown and is around 200 metres from Leicester City Centre and 750 metres from Leicester Clock Tower. The central ring road really divides the area from the city centre in a similar situation as Holiday Inn, St. Nicholas Circle. There’s a number of historic buildings and landmarks, as well as several small businesses operating in the area as well as a number of community facilities including the listed Slater Street school and Holy Bones Guru Nanak Gurdwara, quite set apart from the city centre which is pretty much across the road.
Leicester Waterside is described in a supplementary planning document given to the developers by Leicester City Council as a place of “great assets and opportunities. The advantages of being close to the city centre and the waterfront create an opportunity to deliver a distinctive new urban quarter, which meets the identified need for high quality homes in an attractive and vibrant location. Residents will benefit from the setting of the waterfront and proximity to major green spaces such as Rally Park and Abbey Park, while enjoying city centre amenities such as cinemas, markets, and shops and job opportunities on their doorstep”, according to the Developer’s website.
The developers also claim there is an opportunity to reconnect the street network by modifying the layout of the major ring road, the A50, around the city centre and in doing so, increase the potential of cycle lanes and on street parking in the area.
What’s the point?
As it currently stands, there have been several key constraints posed by the area of the city in question which, when taken into consideration the success of the development of the underground subway on the opposite side of the city centre which connected Granby Street to London Road and the train station, could perhaps weaken our economic potential. These constraints are:
- Unattractive gateway to the city,
- Poor pedestrian access to the waterfront and city centre,
- Poor pedestrian access from the city centre to the West End.
- Significant number of vacant sites and unused, overgrown land,
- Poor uses of neighbouring industrial units with several falling into disrepair and dereliction,
- Heavily congested, traffic dominated road networks isolating the area from the rest of the city; and,
- Dated, inadequate and poorly maintained infrastructure.
Development in that area has been needed for a long time and with the Richard III Centre opening nearby and attracting masses of tourists alongside the regeneration of the areas surrounding the Leicester Cathedra, we feel it’s only fair St Nicholas Circle and surrounding areas are brought in line with Leicester’s image.
What is it going to look like?
The current proposal set out in the supplementary planning documents includes limiting buildings to two to four storeys in height; however this is likely to change as plans are further developed. Proposals on other nearby sites range in height from six to eighteen storeys high. The application is for an eight storey building with the top floors strategically set back from the street which should allow for the area to remain well lit by natural sunlight.
Neighbouring developments include a 11,366 sq ft site is near a £50m project to construct an 11-storey building to provide two hotels with a combined total of 252 bedrooms, a five-storey building with 43,000 sq ft of office space and the regeneration of the former Grand Central Railway Station. The hotels are expected to open in early 2019 and are expected to create about 60 new jobs, these will be run by AccorHotels under a franchise agreement with site developers Charles Street Buildings Group, who will own the buildings.