An artist’s impression of Barberry Developments’ proposed Bishop Gate superstore and retail development in Coventry, view from Lower Bishop Street.

Plans to transform part of Coventry city centre with an exciting new multi-million-pound superstore, retail and leisure development are being unveiled.

Midlands-based Barberry Developments has completed the purchase of the 200,000 sq ft former Royal Mail Sorting Centre and adjoining properties, including 50 Bishop Street, and is planning a large and comprehensive retail-led scheme on the site. The development will be known as Bishop Gate.

Henry Bellfield, director of Barberry Developments, said: “We are working closely with Coventry City Council and hope to finalise in the coming weeks a planning application for a scheme totalling circa 400,000 sq ft to incorporate a supermarket superstore, non-food retail units, a fitness centre and associated on-site car parking.

“Following the closure of the Royal Mail Sorting Office this part of the city centre is in desperate need of new investment and redevelopment.  The plans we are currently working on are hugely exciting and will create hundreds of jobs for local people.”

The site comprises approximately 3.5 acres with the proposed scheme producing a completed development value of around £50 million, added Mr Bellfield. The proposals are due to be unveiled at a public consultation at Coventry Council House on Thursday, February 17th.

A planning application will be submitted this month and it is hoped that, following receipt of planning consent, work could begin on site later this year. The existing Royal Mail building would be demolished. Barberry and Coventry City Council are also looking at proposals to remove the pedestrian bridge across the ring road to the canal basin and replace it with a ground level crossing.  The move would greatly improve the connectivity of the city centre and the basin.

Councillor Linda Bigham, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for city development said: “I am delighted that this area is being developed in such a positive way.  The sorting office is in a great location, just off our ring road. We are looking forward to seeing Barberry’s plans for this mixed-use development which should really help to improve the connection between the city centre and the canal basin. Despite the difficult economic climate Coventry is still open for business and it is encouraging that we can still work with developers like Barberry to continue our regeneration programme and to create jobs for local people.”

Mr Bellfield added: “Coventry City Council has been incredibly positive in terms of supporting the superstore and large retail space which is very refreshing. There is a huge positive sentiment in the council and they are motivated to see great things happen. We believe our development fits in perfectly with the regeneration masterplan for the city centre which sets out the council’s vision for the future.”

The development proposals include:

  • A supermarket superstore of up to 125,000 sq ft including a mezzanine level.
  • 585 car parking spaces on three levels.
  • Gym/leisure facility with swimming pool in 20,000 sq ft unit.
  • Boulevard-style pedestrianised zones.
  • Landscaping including trees, high quality street furniture and paving.
  • An 8,000 sq ft ‘green’ roof.
  • Vehicle access off junction one of the ring road into Tower Street.
  • Pedestrian crossing link to canal basin, replacing the existing footbridge.