Civic Society opposes Rutland Street development proposal
By Oliver Heppenstall
A Rutland Street warehouse is at the centre of a heated planning debate involving the city’s Civic Society, Leicester City Council and local civic engineering firm Moorhouse Limited.
The warehouse, situated opposite The Exchange Bar and backing onto St George’s Church, has been derelict for many years despite proposals being submitted and permission being given in the previous decade to convert the building to flats, offices or financial services.
The latest proposal was submitted by the firm in December 2017 and brought in front of the council through the objection of the Conservation Advisory Panel.
It will be discussed again tonight (Wednesday, March 14) at a meeting of the city council’s planning and development control committee.
The city council has approved a grant to complete the development, but if planning permission has not been granted by March 31 this year, the grant will expire.
The proposal is to turn the basement and ground floor into retail space, professional and financial service space and a cafe or restaurant, while an extension of two floors would incorporate leisure and office space as well as non-residential space.
Much has been made of the proposed extension to the building within the council’s report, which deems it as “not having an unduly harmful impact” on the view of the church.
Leicester’s Civic Society is firmly against the development and cites it as “harmful to the St George’s Conservation Area” despite Historic England’s consultation and welcoming of the scheme as part of the regeneration of the St George’s Residential Area, including the church itself, and the amending of the design according to their recommendations.