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Listed Building Consent Application submitted for new flats in former Council offices in Aberystwyth.

LISTED BUILDING CONSENT

FORMER COUNCIL OFFICES, ABERYSTWYTH

Listed Building Consent Application for new residential units within the former Council Offices submitted in Aberystwyth.

Following an initial consultation with the client En-Plan: Planing & Architecture formulated and submitted a Heritage Statement to Ceredigion County Council for new flatted development that forms part of the ongoing development of this heritage asset located on Marine Terrace in the heart of Aberystwyth.  The statement has demonstrated how the development can be accommodated within the building without any harm to the fabric of the building and how the development will preserve and enhance the setting of the Listed Building and preserve it for enjoyment by future generations. 

Aberystwyth is a coastal town located in Ceredigion, Wales. Its history dates back many centuries and is intertwined with the cultural, educational, and maritime heritage of the region. Here is an overview of the history of Aberystwyth:

  1. Early Settlement: The area around Aberystwyth has evidence of human habitation dating back to the Mesolithic period. It was a favorable location due to its proximity to natural resources, including the River Rheidol and the sea.

  2. Medieval Era: Aberystwyth began to develop as a settlement in the medieval period. It became an important center of commerce and trade, particularly for wool, lead, and timber. The town was granted a charter by Edward I in 1277, establishing its status as a borough.

  3. Castle and Defense: Aberystwyth Castle, constructed by Edward I, played a significant role in the town's history. The castle was built between 1277 and 1289 as part of the English king's efforts to subdue Wales. It served as a military stronghold and administrative center for the region.

  4. Maritime and Trade Importance: Aberystwyth's location on the coast made it a hub for maritime activities. The town developed a port, which facilitated trade with other parts of Wales, England, and Ireland. Industries such as shipbuilding, fishing, and the export of local goods thrived during this period.

  5. Educational Center: Aberystwyth has been a center of education since the establishment of the University College of Wales in 1872, which later became Aberystwyth University. The university's presence contributed to the growth and development of the town as an educational and cultural hub.

  6. Tourism and Victorian Era: Aberystwyth gained popularity as a tourist destination during the Victorian era. The introduction of the railway in the mid-19th century improved accessibility and attracted visitors seeking the therapeutic benefits of the seaside. The construction of the iconic Aberystwyth Cliff Railway in 1896 further enhanced the town's appeal.

  7. Modern Era: In recent times, Aberystwyth has continued to thrive as a university town, with a strong focus on education, research, and cultural activities. The town remains a popular destination for tourists, offering a mix of historic attractions, natural beauty, and a vibrant arts scene.

Throughout its history, Aberystwyth has faced challenges, including fires, storms, and economic fluctuations. However, it has persevered and evolved into the vibrant town it is today, blending its rich history with a modern outlook.

Introduction to the Project
 

En-Plan: Planning & Architecture have been instructed Hawkstone Limited to prepare a Heritage
Statement to accompany the application for approval of the proposed generic partition/flooring/bulkead
details to potential apartments to southern end of building to reflect those at 2nd/3rd floor levels, and
details of foul drainage routing.

Planning Application Reference: A220236

Application type: Approval of Details Reserved by Condition
Proposal: Discharge of condition 2 on planning application A150666 (Floor plans, drainage and generic details)
Address: Country Offices, Marine Terrae, Aberystwyth, SY23 2DE
Received date: 20/03/2022


The submitted Heritage Statement will demonstrate how the application is fully planning policy compliant and
how the scheme will preserve and enhance the character and setting of the Listed Building.
Site and Surroundings


The site forms part the Former County Offices, Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, SY23 2DE
Background to the Proposal


The application is bought about by the ongoing development of the site for resindetial use which was granted permission under planning application A181089: Full Planning Former Council Offices Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 2DE Change of Use of Ground/First Floor to 19 residential apartments. Lower Ground to become associated storage space for use of residents.


Use of the Application Site


The application site is now undergoing development. Layout. The site forms part of the historic sea frontage of Aberystwythh. In terms of constraints and designations, the town of Aberystwyth is designated as an Urban Service Centre (USC). The application site is located within the settlement boundary for Aberystwyth, within the defined town centre boundary and is an allocated mixed use site (M0305) under the adopted Ceredigion Local Development Plan 2007-2022.

History


Originally constructed as a detached hotel on the town's seafront, it was opened in 1866 by the Hafod Hotel Company as the "Queen's Hotel".Designed by C. Forster Hayward of Hayward & Davis in the Cornwall Hotel in Plymouth. The five storey premises – basement, ground floor plus three upper floors – created a total floor area of 51,200 square feet (4,760 m2),[3] providing 83 bedrooms.Built by George Lumley of Aberystwyth, the dressed stone exterior was capped by a Mansard roof of locally sourced Welsh slate. Internally, the main entrance in a gothic architecture style led to a staircase, lit from above by a stained glass window in the mezzanine. The entrance area also included access to an early passenger lift and the ballroom. Many of the main spaces included acanthus plaster ceilings, whilst other public areas were faced with quartz and ore panels. The ground floor toilets resently remain intact, equipped with the original ceramic
sinks and brass taps.

 

Commandeered as the local Royal Air Force base and accommodation unit during World War II, Aberystwyth Council purchased the building post-war, and after conversion under County Architect G. R. Bruce, used the building from 1950 onwards. Due to the space available, during the council's period of occupation the building was additionally used for periods of time as: a dentistry; emergency evacuation hospital; a police station; a register office for weddings; an Aberystwyth University lecture theatre; and the county archives. The local circuit Magistrates Court later moved into the building, using the former ballroom as their main court.


Ceredigion County Council moved to the newly built Canolfan Rheidol in mid-2009, with the court remaining until 2012. In December 2013 the council placed the unoccupied building up for sale at £1million, under chartered surveyors Cooke & Arkwright.[4] After it did not sell, the council chose in June 2014 to put the building up for public


The building was subsequently sold for £530,000 and was being converted by Hawkstone Ltd into a spa hotel that would also have 20 luxury flats and 19 studio apartments for rent and the below plannig history of the site reflects this. A181089 Full Planning Former Council Offices Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 2DE Change of Use of Ground/First Floor to 19 residential apartments. Lower Ground to become associated storage space for use of residents.


Relevant Planning History


A170627 Listed Building Consent Former County Offices, Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, SY23 2DE Manylion pared/lloriau / palis arfaethedig y rhandai posibl ym mhen gogleddol yr adeilad ar yr ail a’r trydydd lawr (Gogledd) Proposed generic partition/flooring/bulkhead details to potential apartments to northern end of building at 2nd/3rd floor levels (North) Approved Subject to Conditions

 

A170149 Listed Building Consent 2nd/3rd floor levels, Former County Offices, Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, SY23 2DE Pared / lloriau / palis generig i greu fflatiau moethus a’u golygon ar Faes Albert. Proposed generic partition/flooring/bulkhead details to potential show flats overlooking Albert Place.Consent Granted


A150666 Full Planning County Offices, Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, SY23 2DE Change of use from B1/mixed
community use to 31 bed hotel, spa, 6 holiday let apartments and 28 residential apartments. Approved Subject to Conditions.

A150667 Listed Building Consent. Change of use from B1/mixed community use to 31 bed hotel, spa, 6 holiday let apartments and 28 residential apartments. Withdrawn 12/09/2017.
A010949LB Listed Building Consent. Internal Alterations. Consent not needed 04/09/2001.
A000459LB Listed Building Consent. Installation of two microwave antenna for voice and data communication on the flat roof space. Consent Granted 21/09/2000.
A000458 Full Planning. Installation of two microwave antenna for voice and data communication on the flat roof space. Approved Subject to Conditions 05/07/2000.
950863 Listed Building Consent. New access into building for disabled. Consent Granted 08/12/1995.
950862 Full Planning. Formation of access including ramp for the disabled. No Objection 11/10/1995.
950929 Listed Building Consent. Opening up of former entrance & internal alterations. Consent Granted 08/12/1995.

Connections


The main building is surrounded by existing highway connections. To the front Marine Terrace meets Victoria terrace with the beach on the western side. To the south is Albert Plave with Queens Road to the east (rear). The site is adjoined by footpaths on all sides.


Form


The new residential units introduce no new external physical development into the locality but work
within the existing fabric of the buidling.


Scale and Massing


This will follow the form of the existing building which has guided the position of the pipework and
partitions so as to blend seamlesly with the existing elements.

Style of Architecture

 

Hotel de Ville style. Asymmetrical 3-storey attic and basement snecked rubble 13-bay W (Promenade)
elevation; stepped front with mostly vermiculated dressings, stock brick voussoirs, deep entablature and
cornice and cill bands; buttresses to ground floor centre. Steep pitch mansard slate roof with truncated
chimney stacks. Dormers with steep overhanging roofs and casement windows; paired to left. 3-bays
advanced near the right hand end and with additional storey and splayed angles to 2nd floor (with small
cast-iron parapets) and 3rd floor; also to top floor) with small cast-iron parapets) and 3rd floor; also to top
floor at the corner. Sash windows, some paired; anthemion panelled cast-iron window box holder across
central bays. Boarded up basement. Similar 7-window, 3-storey and attic Albert Place front with main
entrance to recessed centre with basement. Corbelled chimney breasts to left and right. Central Gothic
tripartite dormer; 1st floor has Italianate paired stilted arched windows flanking similar tripartite
window, all with colonnettes and inserted tympanum roundels. Broad central Gothic pitched roof porch
with ornate bargeboards and brackets carried on tall columns with foliage capitals. Local quartz panels
to outer ground floor windows. 6-windows 4-storey attic and basement left side elevation with similar but
plainer detail; chimney breasts to end and centre act as pilaster strips. Irregular rear elevation; 4 and 5
window 3-storey, attic and basement end blocks flanking 1-storey and basement range with splayed
front. Interior retains large entrance hall with Gothic detail to staircase and lift shat cage, stairwell lit
by stained glass windows. Cambrian Hall, formerly the dining room lies to N; 5-bays long, aisled with
arched trusses and ironwork spandrels with QH monogram; part glazed roof. 3 bay Court Room to W
with deep ribs, carried at dais end on paired columns. Wall panelling, dado rails and acanthus cornices to
main rooms. Retains original ceramic sinks with breast taps to ground floor toilets.
Impact upon the Living Conditions of Neighbouring Residents

 

Access and Parking


No impact.

Mitigation Strategy & assessment of the Proposed Works as Pary of the Discharge fo Conditons Application


Proposed Works


The application considers the apartments at the southern end of the building at ground and first floor levels. These would complement the “show-apartments” previously granted listed building consent above and at the northernend of the building.
 

This entails the following
• lining of existing plastered lath partitions
• creation of new plasterboard partitions,
• the lining of plastered lath ceilings
• restoration of timber floor boards. Substitution of new floorboards to match where not viable.
• restoration of panelled timber doors.. Substitution of new doors to match where repair is not viable.
• Renovation of windows (covered under a separate, external works LBC application).
• Routing of drainage down to existing at lower ground level.

 

The Objective


The objective is the creation of new sustainable resindetial units., and the protection of the heritage asset.


significance of affected fabric
No load bearing elements are affected by the proposla and all partitions are removable without any lasting affect on the main structure. Only minor internal cosmetic fabric affected.

 

beneficial impact
Creation of new residnetial units and the ongoing improvement of the developemnt that will ensure the protection of this listed building for future generations.


harmful impact
Routing of drainage and services through the walls and floor will inpact slightly on the traditonal symetry of the architectural detailing.


Proposed solution


With regard to this the applicants will liaise with the Council to ensure the materials and finish proposed meet the high standards expected in a Listed Building. The underlying philosophy will be that none of the new partitions indicated on the plan will cause irreparable damage and are easliy removed with no lasting affects other than some minor cosmetic marking that can be made right very quickly. The applicant has provided the architectural detailing in Appendix A that ensure the development will be of the required standard to satisfy the Local planning Authority.

Impact upon the Character and Setting of the heriatge asset


With the aforementioned mitigation strategy in place, the creation of new flats will ensure a high quality
resindetial environment. The proposal will improve the charcter and setting of this important heritage
asset, and enure its ongoing use and protection.

During the period between the granting of planning permission A150666 and the current application the Grade II Listed property has been repaired to some degree, with windows being repaired roof being patched gutters cleaned and repaired and loose stone work made safe. The building continues to deteriorate and further maintenance is now necessary to the guttering and roof. The application for European Regional Development Funding submitted in Spring 2015 was turned down in late 2017. Private funding provisionally secured for the development of the upper floors granted consent under the same planning permission was also jeopardised while uncertainty remained about the use of the lower floors. This prompted the decision to apply for planning permission for residential accommodation on the Ground and First floors as well with the
basement to be used as storage.


Conclusions


The proposal is wholly sustainable and meets all National and Local Planning Policy in terms of development involving heritage assets. The proposals also safeguard the future of a Listed Building, by asissting in providing a new use for a building which has proved difficult to find occupiers for. The new use will also lead to the implementation of a more rigerous maintenance regime, which will safeguard the general public from further danger of wall and roof fabric falling off the building.

Further Information

If you would like to find out more about how our Planning Consultancy and Architectural Design Services can work in perfect sync to achieve a successful outcome in the planning system please CONTACT US and we will be only too happy to talk through any questions or development proposals you may have.

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