This how £20 million Freshney Place development will transform Riverhead

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 27 Jul 2017

For the first time we can see exactly how the £20 million Freshney Place development will transform Grimsby's Riverhead.

At long last an official planning application has been submitted to North East Lincolnshire Council for consideration by developers, with permission to press on with the construction of the ambitious project sought.

The massive 43 document application with hundreds of pages worth of detailed planning formalities, was finalised this week, and gives an exciting sneak peak into how the development would change the face of Grimsby's town centre as we know it today.

Initial plans for the major leisure complex, which will house a nine screen cinema and seven restaurants, were first unveiled to shoppers earlier this year.

But now these new documents have revealed that shoppers could soon expect to be dining at brand new Italian and Portuguese restaurants, as well as an ice cream parlour and new coffee shop.

Developers are still remaining tight-lipped about the identity of the restaurants expected to move in so far, but speculation is rife among locals.

Popular Italian restaurants include Pizza Express Bella Italia, Zizi and Carluccio's, whilst the most popular Portuguese restaurant in the UK is chicken specialist, Nando's.

CGI pictures of how the £20 million Freshney Place development will look

The seven new restaurant units will be home to a host of leading national operators new to Grimsby.

As reported, the go-ahead for the scheme moved a step closer after North East Lincolnshire Council decided that the plans would not have any significant impact on the environment.

These new images reveal just how the new cinema, restaurants and bars will be incorporated in to the existing Freshney Place shopping centre, and how the Riverhead area would be given a huge make-over featuring water fountains and smart furnishings.

CGI pictures of how the £20 million Freshney Place development will look

Maurice Fitzgerald, development director of BMO Real Estate Partners – the firm tasked with managing the huge £20 million construction – said a contract with a cinema company was due to be signed by the end of April however this still has not been reached.

If approved, contractors hoped to be on site towards the end of this year and the project will create a whopping 350 jobs.

The aesthetically pleasing CGI images, released by London-based Leslie Jones Architecture, who are in charge of processing the planning application, reveal how the cinema complex will built over a large new entrance to Freshney Place, which will feature as a centre-piece of the development.

This will mean the building is multi-storey, with restaurants on the ground floor, overlooking the Riverhead marina, and cinema screens built above and to the right, as the development is looked at face on.

The cinema will seat 1,600 people in total and the Riverhead building is planned around a central mall. Shoppers will walk under the cinema complex along a walkway which passes the fancy new bars and restaurants, leading shoppers to the shopping centre mall deep within the complex.

CGI pictures of how the £20 million Freshney Place development will look

On the first floor will be the main cinema public areas, accessed via stairs, lifts and escalators from the ground floor cinema lobby. The second floor will feature the cinema concourse level, with projection rooms located on the third.

Construction is expected to take in the region of 12 to 14 months to complete. It meant the development could have been open as early as the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019 but the delays so far could alter that.

It will require a new link road to be built for a reconfigured access point to the Freshney Place car park, which will remain as it is.

The planning application details how the regeneration project will link the Riverhead to the River Freshney, and across to Fisherman’s Wharf and the Alexandra Dock area.

The project has been developed with the newly announced Greater Grimsby project, revealed earlier this week.

The council has outlined its ambitions to transform Grimsby with a £100m investment plan, creating 5,400 jobs, 7,700 new homes to boost our local economy by more than £216 million. It is a ten year plan and NELC has been given Government backing to press on with their plans.

Greater Grimsby Project: clockwise from bottom left: New cinema development; Frederick Ward Way crossing; National Fishing Heritage Centre; Alexandra Dock 'framework' zone; Victoria Mills

Looking back at the cinema complex scheme, expected to be built before any of that takes off, it has come to light that a pricing structure for car parking at the cinema has also been suggested.

Leslie Jones Architects say for cars parking for four hours at any time can do so for free on any day, but that would apply to cinema patrons only. For filmgoers staying longer than four hours, the tariff thereafter reverts to the standard shopping centre parking rates for that day.

For cinema patrons commencing parking after 5pm on any day, the tariff after their first four hours will be fixed at £1 for the rest of the evening.

Leslie Jones Architects are responsible for taking the lead on developing several successful and high profile schemes, including the Wembley Park development, next to the Wembley stadium in London, and a massive re-design of the Port of Dover.

The planning application has only been validated by the council over the last couple of days and a date for a decision is not yet known.

The next North East Lincolnshire Council planning committee meeting will take place on August 16, but it is not yet known if this application will be discussed by councillors then.

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