Massive programme to make Millbay happen

Plymouth’s plan to link the city centre to the sea will take a huge leap this year thanks to a £5.5 million capital investment.

A package of work to ‘make Millbay happen’ is being given the go-ahead in a decision paper signed by the leader of the Council, Tudor Evans.

It’s a mix of demolition, construction and rejigging the layout of this corner of Plymouth that has been in need of redevelopment, regeneration and revival for years.

First on to do list is a planning application for consent to demolish the bridge over Union Street which is expected to be submitted shortly.

What’s going in:
• More parking spaces – 160 will be created at the Toys R Us car park beneath Western Approach car park, including disabled and parent and child spaces. These will be available from this Autumn
• 180 homes to be built on land between Bath Street and Martin Street
• Improved pedestrian crossing for Western Approach
• Trees, planting and an attractive route to Millbay Docks, the new homes and a pedestrian and cycle-friendly environment

What’s coming out
• The unused footbridge over Union Street is coming down which connects the Pavilions with Western Approach car park along with the large stair tower that stands at the end of Bath Street
• The unsightly footbridge over Western Approach which connects the Car Park with Frankfort Gate along with its disused lift towers.

Council leader Tudor Evans said: “This is massive. This is the work that will pave the way, putting important infrastructure in place – not just for Millbay but for the West End.

“It’s like a hugely complex jigsaw but this has been part of our city’s vision for a long time and now it’s beginning to happen. The business case means we can crack on with it. And to prove we are cracking on with it, we’re just about to submit the application to demolish the bridge across Union Street.”

The city has long aspired to have a boulevard linking Millbay with the city centre. One end has already been built – Isambard Brunel Way, but it currently ends at Millbay Road.

The business case sets out how the narrow Bath Street will be widened to provide footpaths on both sides of a wide boulevard to enable quality landscaping along this important street. The package will also support the redevelopment of Colin Campbell Court. The area has been identified for housing-led mixed use redevelopment and the Council has been steadily acquiring properties around it, along with funding.

As much of the site is currently public car parking, providing an alternative at Toys R Us will help the planned changes at Colin Campbell Court as well as businesses nearby.

Mark Brunsdon, Head of Strategic Development Projects, added: “Millbay has come a long way in the last few years. New flats and homes have been built and more are going up. We need this road to be built to enable more homes – including affordable homes – to go up in and around Millbay and Bath Street. This will encourage more private sector investment to help make this happen.”

More details will be announced in the coming months, but it is expected that the bridge over Union Street will be taken down in the next few months and a demolition application will be submitted shortly.