Barberry’s new plans for Bishop Gate

Alternative plans have been revealed for Coventry’s £50million Bishop Gate development.

West Midlands-based Barberry Developments has drawn up revised proposals for the site of the former Royal Mail Sorting Office.

The scheme was initially earmarked as a supermarket-led development, with gym and leisure facilities and a 585-space car park.

But Henry Bellfield, director of Barberry Developments, said alternative proposals have now been drawn up after the scheme failed to attract a main supermarket chain.

The new proposals for the mixed-use scheme include office facilities across two floors, as well as three retail units on the ground level.

Henry said: “The supermarket sector has temporarily pulled away from taking on large spaces, but this is no reflection on the development or Coventry – this is something which is happening across the country.

“At Barberry, we are not prepared to sit on our hands and wait for things to happen or for a sector to improve. We decided that we needed to do something and with our property agents/advisors have revisited the scheme.”

The new plans will provide 50,000 sq ft of retail on the ground floor – which can be split into three units – and around 185 car park spaces for shoppers.

The upper floors of the building will be converted into office space – with 50,000 sq ft on one floor and the flexibility to double that space on a second floor. There will also be additional 140-space dedicated parking facilities for the office tenants.

Barberry has retained the boulevard-style pedestrianised zones and landscaping in the plans, as well as a new pedestrian crossing to the Canal Basin replacing the current footbridge across the ring road. It is also believed the new proposals could create more jobs than the original plans.

Mr Bellfield added: “This revised scheme has the capability to generate and create a lot more jobs and the potential to add more value to the city centre. We are talking to national retailers with the view to becoming tenants and we are confident that this will complement the existing retail offering in the city centre.

“Ideally, we would like to start work on the development next year but first we need to finalise some of the proposals so that we can sit down with potential occupiers and gain their commitment to the scheme. Bishop Gate will still go ahead and our proposals form part of Coventry’s exciting regeneration masterplan.

“We have made a large financial commitment to Coventry and we remain dedicated to ensuring this scheme goes ahead to the highest standard. We want to ensure that we can create as many jobs, as soon as possible, but obviously occupiers are key to this development and they will dictate when the work begins.”

Barberry has also revised its supermarket plans following discussions with potential operators. The scheme has been reduced in size and now includes an 82,000 sq ft supermarket with 319 parking spaces.