Plans for seven-storey tower block to be built on last empty Fruit Market site

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 9 Apr 2019

It is the last open site earmarked for future development in the city's Fruit Market - but should it be built on at all?

That is the question likely to face planning councillors if and when proposals for the land either side of Wellington Street come forward.

Recent approvals for a new £22 million scheme, including Arco's new headquarters and a multi-storey car park in Queen Street and two new buildings to complete the nearby @TheDock tech campus, mean a 10-year plan to regenerate the Fruit Market is nearing completion.

The last remaining vacant site includes two parcels of land previously occupied by two bars - Pepi's and The Portside.

The Portside site next to Hull Marina has been earmarked for a multi-storey new development.

Both were demolished over a decade ago as part of early work to prepare the ground for the Fruit Market's dramatic facelift.

Ironically, while the transformation of Humber Street, the construction of the C4Di complex and approval for just over 100 new homes off Blanket Row followed, the land left vacant after the two bars were bulldozed is still untouched.

With prime views over the Marina and Humber Dock Basin, it is now being marketed as a potential site for "high-quality office space mixed in with residential units and leisure opportunities" by the city council,which owns most of the land in question.

"High-rise proposals involving a single tower could be used in providing more of a focal point to the Fruit Market area," says the council's Invest Hull website, which was launched last November aimed at attracting commercial investors to the city.

An accompanying map indicates the potential for a building between five and nine storeys high, with a tall tower next to the former lock keeper's cottage.

However a new council report going before scrutiny councillors later his week suggests a limit of up to seven storeys for any future building on the site.

It says seven storeys should be a "maximum".

The policy change reflects feedback from a public consultation launched at the same time as the investor campaign with people and organisations being asked their views on 12 specific development sites in the city centre.

On the Portside scheme, concerns were raised about the potential loss of open views across the Marina and the suggested nine-storey tower.

One respondent commented: "Portside site next to the Marina should not be built on and a large block will be hideous in this location.

"It will detract from the character of the area and what has been achieved on Humber Street."

Councillors will discuss the report at a meeting on Thursday before it goes to the council''s cabinet next week.

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