CONFUSION has led to a decision over plans to redevelop a prominent Grade II listed building in Stratford town centre being deferred.
The proposal to demolish the extensions and outbuildings of York House in Rother Street and refurbish the building for offices – as well as build nine townhouses to the rear – went before Stratford District Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday January 18.
Councillors had been recommended to refuse the application amid conservation concerns raised by SDC’s Conservation Officer and Heritage England.
But it was felt by the planning committee that there were too many “confusing elements” within the current plans- regarding which aspects of the historic building were to be retained and which were under threat. And so councillors unanimously voted to defer any decision until revised plans could be fully assessed and also for a site visit.
York House was likely to have once been a farmhouse and was also recorded as a public house, ‘The Prince of Wales’ by the late 19th Century. It was later the York House Hotel and then in the mid-20th Century becoming a newspaper print works, most recently by local newspaper, The Stratford Herald. The newspaper has now relocated elsewhere within the town and the property currently lies empty.
The application, submitted by York House Limited, has attracted the support of both Stratford Town Council and ward member Coun Jenny Fradgley.
Coun Fradgley said at the planning meeting: “We live in the 21st Century and we should be leaving a footprint of our own views and attitudes towards architecture and living space.
“This is going to be well insulated, it is going to have solar gain, it is going to have heat source pumps, so I think we are showing to the next generation and generations to come on this small site a really fascinating and innovative development that will actually provide residences for downsizers and vibrancy for the town.”
Two letters of objection have been received by SDC raising concerns including overshadowing, noise, insufficient parking provision, the density of the development and the impact on nearby businesses including the Playhouse due to noise disturbance.