The joint venture company driving forward the regeneration of Hull’s Fruit Market has welcomed planning approval for more than 100 new homes in the cultural and creative quarter.
Hull City Council’s planning committee voted unanimously to grant consent, subject to conditions, for 109 one, two and three bedroom homes arranged in mews style around private courtyards, forming part of a newly-created urban village.
The new homes will be mostly of townhouses and arranged over two and three storeys, blending traditional and contemporary styles using different bricks, design details and colours to create what the scheme’s architects have described as “a modern and visually stimulating interpretation of the history and heritage of the Fruit Market”.
The £17m residential development is arranged in four blocks – three of them are bounded by Queen Street, Humber Street and Blanket Row, while the other is to the north of Blanket Row, on land bounded by Finkle Street, Queen Street and the A63 Castle Street.
The plans feature the reinstatement of two historic squares – Scott’s Square and Horner’s Square – which had been lost due to demolition in the area. Restoring these squares will create pedestrian links between the new homes and the heart of the Fruit Market in Humber Street.
The approved application also includes the rebuilding of four commercial units fronting on to Humber Street, either side of Horner’s Square, described as being suitable for small retail units, restaurants or cafés.
The plans were submitted by Wykeland Beal, the joint venture company formed by regeneration leader Wykeland Group and residential developer Beal Homes to rejuvenate the Fruit Market, working in partnership with Hull City Council. The development partners’ vision is for the Fruit Market to be “a unique, vibrant, cultural quarter where people live, work and play”.
Richard Beal, Chairman and Managing Director of Beal Homes, said: “Creating a new residential community is an essential element of making the Fruit Market a vibrant, sustainable and successful area and approval of this planning application is another major milestone in this hugely exciting regeneration project.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank members of the planning committee for their support for these plans. We will now focus on working with the council to discharge the planning conditions and we look forward to delivering a distinctive development of exceptional quality of which the city can be very proud.”
Wykeland Beal had already received more than 600 expressions of interest in the Fruit Market properties before last weekend and this number increased by almost 100 more as a result of visits to a pop-up marketing suite in Humber Street during the Freedom Festival.
Mr Beal added: “The level of interest is very high indeed, with people making contact from all over the country, partly as a result of the profile from Hull being UK City of Culture in 2017, as well as locally.
“It’s very encouraging that more than two thirds of the enquiries are from people who want to live in the Fruit Market, rather than seeing it as an investment opportunity. There is a real buzz around the regeneration of the Fruit Market and people really want to be part of it.”
Wykeland Beal has already invested more than £130,000 in archeological investigations and will carry out further surveys prior to site clearance by the end of the year. Work is expected to begin on the first properties early next year and the full residential development is planned to be delivered by the end of 2019.
Garry Taylor, City Major Projects and Infrastructure Manager for Hull City Council, said: “I am really pleased to see that the Planning Committee has today granted permission for these homes and that the residential plans for this fantastic project can now begin.
“The regeneration of the Fruit Market is an integral part of Hull’s plans to become a world-class visitor destination and is already proving itself with events like Humber Street Sesh and the Freedom Festival highlighting how popular the area is becoming.
“I believe that, once complete, the Fruit Market will be firmly placed on the map as one of Hull’s unique cultural gems and these homes will prove incredibly popular.”
As well as new homes, the £80m transformation of the Fruit Market also includes new and refurbished commercial, retail and leisure space centred on Humber Street. New ventures already announced for the area include two new high-quality restaurants, Butler Whites, which opened in Humber Street last month and Tapasya @ Marina, which is currently being fitted out in the former CatZero building in Humber Dock Street.