Planning permission has been given to Wakefield’s Waterfront to redevelop the site. The developers plans are to totally transform city’s waterfront into a new high quality office and residential building. These developments were launched in April 2006. The project is expected to cost £100 million, with the new ground breaking Hepworth Gallery expected to cost around £26 million, there will also be spaces for Cafes, Restaurants and Bars. The whole site is expected to cover approximately 10 acres of land with around 500,000 sq ft of this to be used for the accommodation development. As part of the regeneration the developers are also repairing and converting the Calder and Hebble Navigation Warehouse for leisure and office use. The restoration of this, involves keeping as much of the character of the building for two of the ground floor units. This will then provide a riverside setting for either a new restaurant or a new pub. The three upper levels of the old warehouse will be converted into 16000 sq ft state of the art offices and a new lift. A seperate request was approved for two buildings of offices, these buildings are set to be 14000 sq ft and 18000 sq ft. The smaller of the buildings is hoped to be transformed into a deli or cafe. The other larger of the buildings will be the front of Bridge Street, the building is four storeys high and is a very modern design.
Local councillor Phil Dobson, Deputy Leader of Wakefield MDC said of the development ‘ This development is fantastic news for the people of Wakefield who have been waiting for this long time. It is one of the most important regeneration projects in the history of the city and it is something we can all be proud of.’
David Topham who works for CTP St James developers spoke about the development: ‘We are extremely excited about this project getting underway and delivering the first phase of an imaginative mixed use scheme, which will not only provide beautiful, unique river settings for occupiers and residents, but will also offer so much to Wakefield. We truly believe that our scheme will add a new dimension to the city’s urban renaissance’.
Oliver Quarmby of CTP St James also added: ‘The first phase will establish the quality of our designs and set out our ambition for the Waterfront which will become a new part of the city with its own unique character and ambience . This neglected part of the city will be transformed and will become a truly wonderful, invigorating and stimulating place to live, work and spend time’.
The architects for the Calder and Hebble project are now BDP, with the FaulknerBrowns in charge of the development of the new offices and residential buildings.
Once completed the development should feature formal gardens and public spaces. This should hopefully add a new dimension to Wakefield.