• Gail Collins

Read all about it! Stratford Upon Avon Town Centre Mixed-Use Scheme for Former Newspaper Works

On behalf of our client, Five Homes Limited, we are delighted to have applied for planning permission and Listed Building Consent for a mixed office and residential development in Stratford Upon Avon town centre. The buildings were last in use as the offices and printing works of the Stratford upon Avon ‘Herald’ newspaper, which has relocated. The site fronts Rother Street and comprises York House, a 17th century half-timbered Grade II Listed Building lying in the Conservation Area. Behind the frontage Listed Building there have been various large extensions covering the majority of the plot, including a very large 3 storey high 20th century building which housed the former printing works.

We have worked closely with the client, the architect (St Pauls Associates), as well as Archaeological and Built Heritage Consultants, Noise and Odour Consultants, Highway Engineers and local property Agents in arriving at the submitted scheme. We have also worked closely with the Planning and Conservation Officers at Stratford on Avon District Council via their pre-application route. The submitted scheme is also the result of site meetings with Officers and constructive engagement with neighbours and interested parties.

The proposed development comprises the restoration of York House to provide high quality commercial office accommodation. The site has a lawful use for general industry and the proposal will remove this non-confirming use through the re-use of York House and a development of 10 contemporary town houses constructed to the rear of the Listed Building, broadly in place of the former newspaper works.

The town houses will be of a contemporary design in terms of form, layout and style, incorporating sustainable construction methods. They have been conceived as ‘upside down’ dwellings with roof top private amenity space. This arrangement maximises the potential for long range views across the roof of the adjoining Stratford Playhouse. The design also takes advantage of its southern aspect to maximise sunlight and daylight penetration

A communal courtyard space will be provided at each end of a linear pedestrian ‘street’. The main area of open space in the development has been positioned to take advantage of the heights of surrounding buildings and the more open aspect which will allow sunlight to enter into the courtyards. The northern most site boundary wall will be planted as a living wall. Roof gardens have been integrated into the roof spaces. The non-accessible parts of the rooftops of the houses will be green roofs to provide sustainable drainage opportunities.

In our detailed submission, we confirm that planning policies encourage redevelopment of brownfield land in sustainable locations such as town centres. Stratford Upon Avon is an area of proposed growth. Residential development is encouraged in town centres, due its role in the vitality of such centres. Good design is encouraged, as is contributing to and enhancing the natural and local environment by, amongst other matters, minimising impacts on and providing net gains for biodiversity. The proposal will lead to a 5,000% increase in biodiversity net gain on this currently intensively developed urban site!

In terms of the historic environment, planning policy encourages opportunities for new development within Conservation Areas and within the setting of heritage assets, to enhance or better reveal their significance. The Built Heritage Assessment supporting the application confirms that not only will the proposal secure an optimum viable use of the site, but it will better reveal the significance of the listed York House through the demolition of the more modern extensions. The Assessment confirms the proposal is a high-quality development, with the overall scale and massing of the proposed scheme being complementary and appropriate to the context.

We are excited to be part of this innovative project. The planning and Listed Building Consent applications will be considered by Stratford On Avon District Council in due course.


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