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Former Plymouth Derry's department store set for mixed-use makeover

By Stephen O'Shea - Monday, April 18, 2016 17:40

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Thames Bank Property Company has gained consent for the conversion and retrofit of The Derry’s Building in Plymouth city centre into a 300,000 sqft mixed-use student housing, commercial and hotel scheme.

The former Derry’s Department store, comprising a block at the heart of the city’s modernist Abercrombie and Watson site, is set to be restored and converted into a 500-bedroom student residence and 100 room hotel alongside 60,000 sq ftof retail and commercial space.

Completed in 1962, the building was designed by architect R.C. Steel, closed for good in 2010 and was earmarked by Plymouth council as a key regeneration opportunity.

The proposals were ratified by the Plymouth City Council unanimously at a meeting last week.

Marcus Claridge of Claridge Architects said “We’re delighted to secure planning for this important site in Plymouth. The team worked closely with the council to ensure that our designs not only respect and enhance the existing building, but that the mix of uses will bring it back to the heart of city life. The committee members’ praise for the sensitive architectural approach as they reached a decision shows that the city is proud of its built heritage and recognises that well-considered design can make a real contribution to its future.”

Colin Morris of Thames Bank Property Company commented “We undertook much research to establish the best mix of uses for the scheme and with the University of Plymouth’s campus just ten minutes away, the provision of student housing and complementary uses was popular with the city and worked with its overarching regeneration plans."

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