Plymouth seeks developer to build new 'high street' in north of city
A NEW "high street" could be built in the north of Plymouth by 2016.
The city council is set to fire the starting gun on a massive development in Derriford.
The shopping centre will be at the heart of a new community of 3,000 homes, GP surgeries, a school, library, pub and restaurants.
Members of the Cabinet, meeting tomorrow, are expected to order council officers to begin the process of finding a developer.
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Council leader Tudor Evans said they were aiming to build the shopping centre by 2016.
"That's incredibly ambitious. To achieve it we must find an equally ambitious and innovative developer to turn our plans into reality on the ground."
The aim is to build 3,000 new homes and encourage the creation of 8,000 new jobs by 2026.
The proposed Derriford district centre will be set in almost 12 acres next to the Future Inn in Tavistock Road.
The site is the former Seaton Barracks parade ground, which the council acquired from the old South West Regional Development Agency.
The council says the development must form a new high street with relatively few large shops, so that it will not compete with the city centre.
"This will be a new heart for the north of the city, and not a massive out-of-town shopping centre," Cllr Evans said.
"This isn't going to suck the juice out of the city centre."
David Draffan, the council's assistant director for economic development, said: "We are not looking to get maximum financial return out – we want to put the maximum quality in."
He said the north of the city lacked community facilities, a shopping parade, GP surgeries and schools.
"We need this for homes, jobs and transport."
The development up to 2026 will include a new business park and could also have: a large new food store with high street shops; restaurants; houses; apartments and student flats; a library; community centre; health centre; and a pub or hotel.
It will include the proposed new Forder Valley link road, which will help to relieve congestion in the north of the city, and a new countryside park.
David James, the council's head of strategic development projects, said the goal of 2016 for completing the high street would be challenging.
But he said that the presence of many homes and businesses already in the area would provide customers and meant the scheme was "oven ready for the market".
The proposals have survived two changes of political control at the council, but face competition from two commercial rivals.
The new community is part of the Derriford and Seaton area action plan, which will be examined by a Government planning inspector later this month.
The plan is being challenged by Sutton Harbour Holdings, which wants to create a similar development on the former city airport.
Meanwhile, Wharfside Regeneration is waiting to hear the outcome of last year's planning inquiry into its own proposals for a major shopping development on the so-called North West Quadrant, next to Derriford Hospital.
The council has allocated that site for housing.