Consultation to be held on updated New Chinatown plans
Having acquired the long-stalled plot earlier this year, Great George Street Developments will outline its plans for the five-acre New Chinatown site at an exhibition next week, with the updated proposals mooted to include 760 apartments, 75,000 sq ft of commercial and 31,500 sq ft of offices.
The long-stalled New Chinatown project, which had a gross development value of around £200m, has been subject to legal wrangling and controversy since initial plans for 800 apartments, 120,000 sq ft of office space, and a 140-bed hotel stalled in 2016 following the collapse of contractor PHD1.
Great George Street Developments, backed by banker Jason Oakley and headed up by development director Neal Hunter, acquired China Town Development Company, set up by developer North Point Global, by share purchase in February this year to allow it to restart the project.
The company confirmed it would be aiming to bring forward the first phase of the project – comprising 117 apartments and 4,100 sq ft of commercial space – in line with the previous planning consent, with work due to start later in the year.
On announcing the company’s purchase of the site, Great George Street Developments’ development director Neal Hunter said he wanted to ensure “all existing investors within Phase One get the apartments they signed up for”.
It is also due to hold a consultation next week on its rejigged plans for the later phases.
Including the first phase, the plans for the site are now set to include 760 one, two, and three-bed apartments; 25 townhouses; 75,000 sq ft of commercial; and 31,500 sq ft of offices, although the developer said no CGIs or images were immediately available when contacted by Place North West.
Proposals also include creating new green space and the narrowing of Great George Street to create a park. The developer is being advised by Arup, architect Brock Carmichael, JMW, CBRE, and landscape architect Planit IE on the plans.
Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the team said it hoped to submit a planning application for the updated later phases in the summer.
Hunter said “Our view is that the new overall scheme can better align with the city’s strategic aspirations and better connect with the Baltic Quarter and the existing Chinatown.
“Our new proposals will see the creation of new green spaces, a lovely linear park and outside event space. It will complement the Georgian Quarter, just up the hill, and connect in a sympathetic way to the Baltic Triangle and the surrounding residential properties. Ultimately, we want to create an inclusive, vibrant new district for the city, where people can live, work and play.
“We want it to become a destination for young enterprises and established businesses alike, as well as a home for people of all ages and family circumstances.”
“We believe we have significantly improved the quality of the scheme by introducing some larger commercial space and a more diverse mix of residential, including family homes.”
A consultation on the plans will be held on Tuesday 5 June between 12:30 and 7pm at the Siren, 54 St James Street.