A major blot on the landscape of Derby city centre is finally set to be restored, according to its developer owner.
For half a century, the bonded warehouse building at Friar Gate Goods Yard has stood empty – and has since fallen into dereliction and become a target for vandals.
But now the site’s owner Clowes has confirmed that it intends to restore the warehouse building to its former glory.
The decision comes after Clowes secured a deal last month to sell around half of the 20-acre good yard site for a new secondary school.
Derby Cathedral School will occupy the western half of the derelict site once its state-of-the-art facilities are built over the next three years.
But now Clowes, which has owned the goods yard for more than 30 years, will be turning its attention to the rest of the site.
Andrew Bock, who manages the site for Clowes, said: “I can confirm that we have made the decision to restore the bonded warehouse.
This aerial picture shows the state of the roof of the bonded warehouse (Image: Steven Pentleton / HawkUAV)
“The recent deal to create the school on nine acres of Friar Gate Goods Yard has given us the confidence to restore the rest of the site.
“We are currently working on a planning application which we intend to submit to Derby City Council in late spring. We would then hope to start work on the restoration within 12 months and complete the work within 24 months.
When Clowes secured the Derby Cathedral School deal, the cost of which was undisclosed, it was hoped that it could lead to the firm restoring the warehouse, which is a Grade-II listed building.
It is not yet known how the warehouse will be re-purposed, but it could possibly lend itself to housing.
Over the years the building has become a target for vandals (Image: Ian Hodgkinson / Picture It)
Russell Rigby, from Derby property specialists Rigby and Co, is currently working with Clowes – as well as architects – to come up with plans for the bonded warehouse.
He said: “Clowes intends to repair and restore the bonded warehouse. We are currently engaged in meetings to discuss ideas regarding possible uses for the building.
“Once we have formulated a plan we intend to meet with the city council next month to discuss those ideas.”
The warehouse sits at a key entry point to Derby city centre – and recent drone footage showed it was missing most of its roof.
Clowes previously shelved plans to turn the building into a supermarket
But Clowes has said previously said there was hope it would one day be restored.
The building was constructed by the Great Northern Railway in 1878 and formed part of the infrastructure around Friar Gate station.
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Services stopped operating from the station in 1963 – and from the goods yard in 1968.
Planning was granted to Clowes in October 2011 for 140 homes, offices, cafés and shops, while turning the warehouse into a supermarket.
But, in June, 2015, the firm revealed a downturn in financial fortunes for Britain’s supermarkets had prevented progress.
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Source: Derby Telegraph