Pioneering homes plan in Peterborough city centre gets the go ahead

An impression of the roof garden
An impression of the roof garden
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A ‘unique’ development in Peterborough which will target the Millennial generation has received planning permission.

The former Fifth Avenue nightclub in Laxton Square is to be converted into co-living accommodation featuring a gym, cinema room, games areas, communal lounges, roof garden and 24 hour concierge service.

The landmark city centre development is coming from The Brightfield Group whose managing director is Mike Greene, the Brexit Party candidate at the recent by-election in Peterborough.

The firm has also recently received planning permission to convert former city council offices at Bayard Place into 115 flats.

Mr Greene said: “People we have spoken to have said that they are really pleased to see such an iconic and central building coming back to life after years of being empty.

“It will be finished to a very high standard and retain most of the historic architectural features of the building from its use originally as a court house and then the glass dome as a nightclub.”

The former nightclub has been vacant since 2002. The building was constructed in 1873 as a county court, which it remained until 1986.

CEO of The Brightfield Group, Spencer Wrench, said: “The development will be a first for Peterborough.

“It will attract all ages but with a core focus on embracing the increasing mobility of Millennials and their stronger sense of community and connected living.”

Co-living is already a feature in the US and in European cities such as Berlin and Barcelona. It is also being used in London.

Occupants will move into a fully furnished, en-suite studio apartment with all costs included in a single monthly charge, including utility bills, superfast broadband, twice weekly cleaning and access to facilities including the gym.

In its submission to Peterborough City Council’s planning department, which has approved the co-living application, Peterborough Civic Society said it “welcomes a scheme which brings something new to the city and has the potential to secure the proper maintenance and care of this long-neglected Building of Local Interest”.

It added: “The society is very uneasy about the small size of the individual living units but recognises that this is compensated to a degree by the communal facilities characteristic of this co-living scheme.”

The building is one of 21 that has a Peterborough Civic Society blue plaque on it.

A date for works to begin has not been set yet but is expected to be in the coming months now that planning permission has been received.