REVISED plans to redevelop a prominent Grade II listed building in Stratford town centre are still set to be thrown out by councillors.
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 in January.
Councillors were recommended to refuse the application amid conservation concerns raised by SDC’s Conservation Officer and Heritage England.
But a decision on whether the proposal should be given the go-ahead was deferred as 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.
Councillors unanimously voted to defer any decision until revised plans could be fully assessed and also for a site visit.
The revised proposal is now set to go before the planning committee on Wednesday (April 26) and has seen the number of dwellings reduced to eight.
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, still has the support of both Stratford Town Council and ward member Coun Jenny Fradgley.
Coun Fradgley said at the previous 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 were 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.
Planning officers are still recommending the committee refuse the plans.
Official documents state that while the principle of the scheme would be acceptable, and the revised plans and documents have now overcome the harmful impact to the listed building, the proposed density, scale and design of the scheme would still not respect the historic character and townscape.