An artist’s impression of how the Bishop Gate development by Barberry Developments could look at night.

Barberry Developments has submitted a planning application to transform part of Coventry city centre with an exciting new multi-million-pound superstore development.

The Midlands-based company announced the move today (Thursday, March 10th) during the MIPIM commercial property event in Cannes, France, where it has joined the Coventry City Council-led delegation putting the city on the international stage.

Barberry purchased the 200,000 sq ft former Royal Mail Sorting Centre and adjoining properties, including 50 Bishop Street, last year and is seeking planning permission for a large and comprehensive retail-led scheme on the site. The development will be known as Bishop Gate.

The 3.5 acre proposed scheme will produce a completed development value of around £50 million. The proposals were unveiled during public consultations in February.

Speaking at MIPIM in Cannes Henry Bellfield, director of Barberry Developments, said: “We have taken into account the views expressed during the consultation exercise and we are delighted to announce that we have now submitted an application for outline planning consent for the exciting Bishop Gate development. This clearly demonstrates our commitment to both the project and the city. There is a huge amount of work involved in reaching this stage with a project of this magnitude. The team at Barberry is grateful for the support shown by Coventry City Council throughout the process and we look forward to delivering a scheme which will transform this part of the city centre.”

He added: “We are continuing to work closely with the council on the scheme which totals circa 400,000 sq ft to incorporate a supermarket superstore, a fitness/leisure 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 are hugely exciting and will create hundreds of jobs for local people.”

Councillor Linda Bigham, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for city development, said: “I am very excited about the development in this area of the city. There will be something here of interest to everyone, as well as making it easier to get to and from the city centre and the Canal Basin.  The partnership with Barberry proves once again that Coventry is looking to the future, even during times of economic pressures.”

A planning application has been submitted this week and it is hoped that, subject to receipt of planning consent, work could begin on site later this year. The existing Royal Mail building would be demolished. The proposals include removing the pedestrian bridge across the ring road to the canal basin and replacing it with a ground level crossing.  The move would greatly improve the connectivity of the city centre and the canal basin.

Mr Bellfield added: “Coventry City Council has been incredibly positive in terms of supporting the development proposals which is very refreshing. There is a real positive sentiment in the council and both officers and councillors are motivated to see great things happen. We believe our development fits in perfectly with the regeneration master-plan for the city centre which sets out the council’s vision for the future.”

The development proposals include:

  • A supermarket superstore of up to 130,000 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.