Plans to turn part of building that was once home to Derby’s popular Rockhouse venue into student flats have been given the go-ahead.
Back in February, Henry Mein Partnership, on behalf of Taj Ltd, applied to Derby City Council to convert the upper floors of the building, which is on the corner of Babington Lane and Sitwell Street, in the city’s St Peters Quarter, into apartments.
That application, which involved adding extra floors, was originally for 81 apartments across five floors.
The scheme has been passed – but with amendments. Firstly, the number of apartments has been reduced – from 81 to 77 – and secondly, the design has been altered to preserve the “character and distinctiveness” of the building.
In its day, the Rockhouse was a popular a haunt for students – and other music lovers.
The first floor of the building was last open as the Rockhouse from 2008 to 2009. Before that, it played host to dozens of groups and music fans from 1984 to 1996. It then closed and reopened a couple of times as nightclub venues, Future Club and First Floor.
In 2012, fresh attempts were made to reopen the venue as the Rockhouse but to no avail.
In its final months, the Rockhouse played host to bands including Foals, Dinosaur Jr, The Pigeon Detectives, and The Twang.
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In its heyday the venue welcomed several big name groups, including The Brand New Heavies, Noah and the Whale, Idlewild and The Levellers and hosted popular rock-night and heavy-metal tribute gigs.
While, student flats will be build on the upper floors – the ground floor, currently occupied by Reliance Electrical, is not part of the scheme.
However, earlier this year, a separate application to transform part of the ground floor into offices was approved.
In granting permission for the apartments, Derby City Council planners said: “The proposed change of use, extensions and alterations to the existing commercial building to form studio flats for students would form an appropriate form of residential use and satisfactory living environment for the occupants.
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“The revised scheme would respect the character and distinctiveness of the building and preserve the character and appearance of the St Peters and Green Lane Conservation Area and the setting of the nearby Grade 2-listed Serbian Orthodox Church of Apostles St Peter and St Paul, which lies in Normanton Road.
“In dealing with this application the city council has worked with the applicant / agent in a positive and proactive manner and has secured appropriate and proportionate improvements to the scheme which relate to the design, elevational treatment and form of the extensions and reduction in number of residential units.”
Source: Derby Telegraph