By Joe Locker, Local Democracy Reporter
A former department store and restaurant which fell into disrepair and was once used for cannabis farming could soon become student accommodation.
Kexgill Limited has submitted plans to convert the mid-20th Century ‘Antibo’ building, in Lower Parliament Street, into 49 student flats via an upwards extension.
The building was first built in in two phases, with phase one constructed in around 1929 following the clearance of buildings in the area for the extension of Lower Parliament Street.
Phase two was completed in around 1938 when then-leaseholder the Star Boot Company sought to expand its store.
It was used as a department store up until the 1980s, according to the developer.
More recently it housed Italian restaurant Antibo, the name of which remains embossed on the building’s frontage, and Chez Coor’s, a Jamaican buffet.
Following the closure of the buffet restaurant the building was left derelict and became a hotspot for antisocial behaviour and break-ins, leading at one point to an illegal cannabis grow, planning reports say.
It was subsequently put up for sale for £1.4m.
The developer’s planning documents say: “The site currently sits along Lower Parliament Street which is a main artery in Nottingham City Centre.
“The existing building was most recently home to the Chez Coor’s restaurant on the ground floor, with accommodation on the upper floors.
“The building has since been derelict and found to be associated with anti-social behaviour and illegal activity in the form of cannabis farming.”
The developer says student accommodation is suitable for the building due to its close proximity to Nottingham Trent University’s city campus. Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, part of NTU, also sits across the road.
“This location is perfectly positioned for student housing due to its close
proximity to the Nottingham Trent University campus and will also help to revitalise the local area by drawing interest further down Lower Parliament Street, and into the Creative Quarter,” planning documents say.
Plans originally sought to extend the building by three floors.
However during a consultation with neighbouring residents, people raised concerns over the height of the proposed extension.
The developer adds: “The feedback commented on the scale of the proposal,
suggesting that an additional three storeys would be too invasive within the local context.
“Although a contextual height study suggested that three storeys of development would be in-keeping with the heights of surrounding buildings, the design has been modified by only two additional storeys in order to satisfy comments provided within the feedback.”
The top of the building would feature a green roof and the accommodation would come with cycle storage for residents.
ARC Design Studio submitted the plans on behalf of the developer, which are now to be determined by Nottingham City Council.