Emma Churches, of local developer Garrison Barclay Estates, has welcomed the Council’s approval of planning permission for the redevelopment of the iconic Chartist Tower in Newport.
The redevelopment of Newport’s tallest building will provide the City with a 4* hotel, much needed quality office space as well as retail units in the old BHS store on Commercial Street. Construction could, subject to discharging planning conditions, begin in August.
Ms Churches noted:
“To achieve planning permission for a major redevelopment, just six months after acquiring the site, is testament to the excellent collaboration between Newport City Council, the Garrison Barclay team and its advisors. We are delighted with both the striking architectural design for the project and the fact that Newport City Council has approved our plans.”
Ms Churches added:
“Our investment of over £10m in this project reflects our confidence in Newport, where the high demand for quality offices is demonstrated by the fact that negotiations for leasing some 60% of the new office space are well advanced. This confidence in the office market within the City centre means that we will now move forward with our plans to redevelop the former sorting office on Mill Street which will offer 50,000 sq. ft. of grade A office accommodation.”
Planning permission is another step towards the development of a 164 bed Mercure hotel in the centre of Newport, which should be completed in time to coincide with the opening of the ICC in Summer 2019. Ms Churches confirmed that the name of the hotel will incorporate Chartist and that it is intended that the meeting rooms will reflect Newport’s role in the Chartist movement.
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said:
“This will be a very welcome addition to the city centre and contribute to our long-standing ambition to have a more diverse offer, including residential and office uses, to ensure it becomes more vibrant and viable.
“Like many town and city centres, we have seen the impact of the changes in people’s shopping habits and the loss of some of the major chain stores which have left big gaps in the High Street. However, the proposals for Chartist Tower show that developers have confidence in Newport and promise a much brighter future for our city centre.”
Councillor Jane Mudd, the council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, said:
“Newport city centre is undergoing a transformation that began with Friars Walk and the programme that which saw millions of pounds invested by Welsh Government, private and third sector to revitalise key buildings.
“We have been encouraging more high quality office space and I look forward to Garrison Barclay’s vision for both Chartist Tower, and the former Royal Mail sorting office, coming to fruition bringing more people to work in the city centre. Together with the growth of homes in the city centre, this will increase footfall and change the ambience of the heart of Newport, benefiting everyone who uses it.”