Coronavirus 'chance to rethink Nottingham redevelopment', says architect

image source, Nottingham City Council
image captionCollin Street is set to be pedestrianised as part of Nottingham City Council's redevelopment plans

Plans for a shopping centre and nearby roads in Nottingham city centre should be revised following the coronavirus pandemic, an architect said.

Nottingham City Council unveiled new images of a redesigned and pedestrianised Collin Street.

The authority said it will create "a fantastic new public space" near Intu Broadmarsh, which is also being redeveloped.

However, Peter Rogan said the city should move to a "sustainable" future.

Plans for a multimillion-pound redevelopment of Broadmarsh were approved five years ago, but work has halted indefinitely on the shopping centre, and earlier this year Intu warned that it risks defaulting on billions of pounds it owes in debts.

This month the city council revealed its designs for Collin Street, which has received funded from the government's Transforming Cities Fund and will be changed from a key route for traffic into a car-free road as part of wider transport alterations due to begin in August.

Construction on the bus station, car park and library continues, and other planned road changes are still expected to go ahead.

image source, Nottingham City Council
image captionNottingham City Council leader David Mellen described the plans as "exciting and transformational"

Mr Rogan, a Nottingham-based architect who specialises in historic and conservation work, said "smaller, greener developments" should be replacing larger shopping centres.

Describing the Broadmarsh building as "a dead whale" and the plans for Collin Street's pedestrianised area as "a bit of a bodge", he pointed to changing retail patterns in calling for a mixed development of smaller shopping units and housing to revive the area south of the city centre.

"I think [the council] are trying to make the best of a difficult situation, but they need to completely re-evaluate things in view of what's happening," he said.

"[Broadmarsh] is going to be an open sore until it's gone, and it will always be that."

David Mellen, leader of Nottingham City Council, said the "radical" redesign was part of the authority's long-term commitment to create "a more pleasant and healthier environment".

"While we are continuing to find a way forward for Intu Broadmarsh, it's important that we move ahead with the rest of our exciting and transformational plans for the area," he said.

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