299 flats to replace HMRC Castle Meadows offices

A plan has been accepted for Castle Meadows to be turned into hundreds of flats.

The decision was finalised on September 27 to allow the site on Castle Meadows Road, Nottingham, which is currently mainly occupied by HMRC, to be converted into 299 apartments.

The site stretches some 9.24 acres (3.73 hectares) with six three and four-storey buildings, which are currently used as offices and a dedicated Health & Wellbeing Hub.

Originally designed by award-winning architect Sir Michael Hopkins, the development totals around 350,000 sq ft (32,516 sq m) including the Hub with 347 surface car parking spaces.

The block of offices was put up for sale went on the market with a price tag of £36 million-plus in May.

The site was built for the Inland Revenue which moved 2,000 jobs out of London to Nottingham in 1989.

And there have previously been applications submitted by Nottingham Civic Society to get the building Grade-II listed.

Residents welcomed the fact that the site would not be left empty for long after HMRC’s exit from the property.

Paul Duckett, 56, an IT consultant who lives near Nottingham Castle
Paul Duckett, 56, an IT consultant who lives near Nottingham Castle

Paul Duckett, 56, an IT consultant who lives near Nottingham Castle, said: “It needs to be used for something, it’s a huge building.

“There are so many empty buildings in town that could do with converting because we always need housing.

“I imagine if you are working in there it must be be quite nice but I have nothing against people living in it, as long as it is affordable and good quality.

“Other than an office building or flats I can’t imagine what else you could use it for so it seems a sensible plan.”

Lyn Jayne, 77, and Maureen Bell, 68, both retired and from Clifton also welcomed the plans.

Lyn said: “There does seem to be a lot of housing going up in Nottingham but it is always needed. As long as it is for families and young people to get on the ladder I am okay with that.

“It just needs using, so it is good that it doesn’t look like it will sitting there without anyone in after HMRC leave.”

Maureen added: “I suppose with Covid and everyone working from home for a bit, there isn’t a big demand for office spaces. Because it seems a good and big set of offices so it would have probably been quite in demand before.

“I ideally would have liked it to be replaced by a big leisure centre with a swimming pool or dancing hall, but it’s probably a better idea and luckily I’m not in charge.

“Housing is always useful no matter where it’s being built and I suppose being next to the canal will be nice for the pole who end up there.”

Lora Saunders, 38, who works in retail and lives in Sneinton, was relieved the site would be used but thought it should have been kept as an office.

She said: “I know offices have been a bit pointless in the past year and a bit but I don’t think everything should be turned into housing.

“Obviously people need homes but this is a purpose built office building I just find the idea of it being flats a bit odd.

“I wouldn’t personally want to live there unless the changed the look of the place, I’ve always thought it looked like a prison to be honest.

“We never have enough housing though, so maybe I’m in the wrong about it.”

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