£130m plans for Hull city centre retail/residential scheme take major step forward

Artist's impression of Albion Square in Hull city centreArtist's impression of Albion Square in Hull city centre
Artist's impression of Albion Square in Hull city centre
PLANS to transform a key city centre site in Hull have taken a major step forward after the council confirmed it had completed the multi-million acquisition of several redundant buildings.

Council leader Steve Brady announced that the city council had acquired the freeholds of the BHS/Co-op and Edwin Davis buildings as part of £130m plans to create one of the largest single developable sites in the city centre since post-war reconstruction.

The cost has not yet been released but the council said last year it was preparing to spend £2.8m on Albion Square, which is earmarked for high-quality mixed use, residential, retail and leisure, as well as a new home for the city’s Ice Arena. Coun Brady said: “The next step is to apply to the planning committee for demolition and from that stage we will get on with the clearing of the site, bearing in mind the protection of the mural on the BHS frontage.

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“I can just vaguely remember Edwin Davis being open, and the Co-op building has been shut a long time and then there was the sad demise of BHS. There are costs associated, but people will be glad to see the back of them.”

The majority of the site will be for retail and for the Ice Arena, but a “reasonable part” will be city living apartments, he said.

Coun Brady said the City of Culture year had prompted interest from developers on the back of the £25m investment in the city’s public realm. “It is basically an ideal place for shopping in the city centre - I do think people will be quite excited when the plans come out. Most people in this city have made comments about when it it going to be sorted out - finally the authority is sorting it out.”

It comes months after a Government inspector rejected plans for a new £32m retail park on the edge of Hull on the grounds that it would seriously damage the city centre and the investment plans.

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Many Kingswood residents had been keen on having more shops on their doorstep but Inspector Robert Mellor concluded it could have “adverse consequences” for schemes set out in the newly adopted Local Plan.