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Completed seating area.

COMPLETED DEVELOPMENT
THE COMMODORE HOTEL

Listed Building Consent Application submitted for new outdoor seating area at the Commodore Hotel and Spa in Llandrindod Wells.

Introduction

 

En-Plan: Planing & Architecture formulated a full Listed Building Consent application that was subsequently submitted to Powys County Council Planning Department accompanied by a Heritage Statement.  The application has now received approval and the development is now completed. The development was initially bought about by the Covid Pandemic as a new outside seating area was required to allow the business to function with the new social distancing measures in place.

The History of Llanrindod Wells

Llandrindod Wells is a town located in Powys, Wales. It is the largest town in the historic county of Radnorshire.  Llandrindod Wells is situated in central Wales, within the picturesque countryside of Powys. It is located in the valley of the River Ithon, surrounded by the Cambrian Mountains. Llandrindod Wells gained popularity in the late 19th century as a spa town, known for its natural mineral springs believed to have health benefits. During the Victorian era, it became a popular destination for visitors seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. The town features a significant number of Victorian and Edwardian buildings, reflecting its spa town heritage. Prominent landmarks include the Rock Park, the Albert Hall Theatre, and the Pump House, which is now the home of the National Cycle Collection.  Llandrindod Wells is known for its green spaces and parks, providing opportunities for outdoor recreation and leisure activities. The Rock Park, Temple Gardens, and Lake Park are popular spots for walking, picnicking, and enjoying nature. The town hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, attracting visitors from near and far. The Victorian Festival, Llandrindod Wells Art Week, and the Radnor Fringe Festival are among the notable events that celebrate the town's heritage and artistic community. The surrounding countryside offers opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. The nearby Elan Valley is known for its scenic reservoirs, walking trails, and wildlife. The area is popular for activities such as hiking, cycling, fishing, and birdwatching.  Llandrindod Wells has a close-knit community and offers a range of amenities, including shops, restaurants, cafes, and accommodation options. The town has primary and secondary schools, a leisure center, a hospital, and various community facilities. Llandrindod Wells is well-connected by road and rail. It has a railway station on the Heart of Wales Line, providing connections to destinations such as Swansea and Shrewsbury. The A483 road passes through the town, offering easy access to other parts of Wales and England. Llandrindod Wells is known for its tranquil setting, Victorian charm, and the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside. It offers a balance between a peaceful rural retreat and access to modern amenities and recreational activities.

The Listing Status of the Commodore Hotel and Its position in the Llandrindod Wells Conservation Area

The Commodore Hotel is located on the south western side of Spa Road in the centre of Llandrindod. It is proposed to construct a grey wooden decking area with balustrade and disabled access ramp (using bound material) on a grassed area to the east of the hotel, on the south eastern side of the vehicle access into the hotel and adjacent to the existing car park. The premises is looking to provide an outdoor seating area which the proposed development would support access to.

Originally built 1882-4 by S W Williams as the rectory to Holy Trinity Parish Church, after the appointment in November 1881 of Archdeacon de Winton as rector. The building was enlarged in 1896/7 and converted to hotel use (named the Plas Winton Hotel before becoming the Commodore) although retaining some of the original fabric and similar ground plan.  The listing for the hotel states the following:

"Arts and Crafts (Webb/Shaw influence). 4-storey and attic, 5-stepped - gable tile-hung front with rubble and whitewashed dressings to ground floor and regularly spaced bands of fish-scale tiling above, swept out over foliated treracotta band courses between 2nd and 3rd floors and over black brick band course between ground and 1st floors. Tiled roofs with 6 multiflue chimney stacks with moulded caps. Cusped and ogee-headed bargeboards to gables with wide boarded eaves. Broad gable over advanced double bay incorporating main entrance. 1 bay set well back to right and 2 individually gabled bays set back beyond. Same 2-light paired sash window type throughout 1st, 3rd and 4th floors except bay to right of entrance which has 3-light grouped sash windows. The 2nd (main) floor is emphasised by oriel windows with bracket bases under small hipped-roof hoods supported on curved brackets; also to return sides of main advanced double bay. 4-and 5-light grouped sash windows to ground floor, lean-to hood over advanced plain porch with modern doors.

Twin gabled right side in same style with single storey and attic rubble and tile-hung extension (formerly the Parish Room) with twin tile-hung dormers to right. Similar left side with bay window to ground floor. Modern extensions to rear and to ground floor left."

The Planning Evaluation

Given that the proposed development relates to the provision of development associated with an existing commercial premises, it is considered that the principle of development is supported throughout national and local planning policy. The remaining material planning issues will be considered below.

The Commodore Hotel and its grounds contribute to the attractiveness of Llandrindod and the proposed development would be located adjacent to the existing car park and as such would be visible in the locality. Whilst the proposed development would alter the appearance of the area where it would be located, its scale, location adjacent to an area of mature trees and the use of appropriate materials leads to the conclusion that
the proposed development would not diminish the attractiveness of the area. Therefore it is considered that the proposed development would complement the character of the surrounding area in accordance with LDP Policy DM13. In addition, the proposed development would enable provision for people with disabilities in accordance with LDP

The site is located approximately 7 metres to the east of the grade II listed Commodore Hotel at its nearest point. In addition the site is located approximately 15 metres to the north of the Church of the Holy Trinity, also a grade II listed building. Hotel Commodore is listed for group value, assumed to refer to the Church as it was originally built 1882-4 as the rectory to Holy Trinity Parish Church. The building was enlarged in 1896/7 and converted to hotel use. The Church is also included on the list for group value. Both buildings are set within large grounds with an area of trees separating the churchyard grounds from the hotel grounds and both the buildings are highly visible from Spa Road and in the surrounding area.
 

Given the scale, appearance, materials and design of the proposed development together with its location, adjacent to a group of trees it is concluded that the proposed development would not have an unacceptable adverse impact on the identified listed buildings or their settings in compliance with LDP Policy SP7. In addition, it is considered that the proposed development would preserve the listed buildings and their
settings under section 66(1) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.


The premises is located within the Llandrindod Conservation Area. As discussed above, the scale, materials and design detailing of the proposed development are all considered acceptable and as such, it is concluded that the proposed development would not have an unacceptable adverse impact on the Llandrindod Conservation area in accordance with LDP Policy SP7. In addition, the proposed development would preserve the character or appearance of the conservation area under section 72(1) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

Neither the Trunk Road Agency or the Highway Authority have objected and given the minor nature of the proposed development, highway safety is not expected to be unacceptably affected.

The proposed development has been designed to complement the character of the surrounding area and would not unacceptably adversely affect heritage assets in accordance with LDP Policies DM13 and SP7. In addition, full provision for people with disabilities would be made. As such the proposed development is recommended for conditional consent as set out below.

As you can see form the pictures above the development has been completed and has been instrumental in assisting the business keep going through the Covid Pandemic and will assist it when the lockdow restrictions are finally lifted in the summer of 2021. 

 

The proposal also included a disabled access ramp which is a legal requirment. In the UK, disabled access is primarily governed by the Equality Act 2010 (which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act 1995). The Equality Act requires that reasonable adjustments be made to prevent disabled people from being at a disadvantage. This applies to employers, schools, service providers, and others. Service providers are required to make reasonable adjustments to ensure their services can be accessed by disabled individuals. This can mean changes to practices or procedures, providing extra aids or services, or making physical changes to a building. Employers must make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment and employment process, and this might include changes to physical features of a workplace. Educational institutions need to ensure that disabled students aren't at a substantial disadvantage. This can mean changes to policies or the provision of auxiliary aids and services. There are specific accessibility requirements for public transport, including buses, trains, trams, and taxis. The UK Building Regulations also provide guidance on access and facilities for disabled people. Part M of the Building Regulations focuses on access and use of buildings, which includes provisions related to disabled access for both dwellings and other types of buildings. It's important to understand the concept of "reasonable adjustments". Not every building or service in the UK will be fully accessible for every type of disability. What is "reasonable" will depend on various factors, such as the size of the organization, the nature of the service, the type of building, and the cost of the adjustments. However, the overarching aim of the legislation is to ensure that disabled individuals are not unfairly disadvantaged and can access services, employment, education, and public functions on an equal basis with others. If a disabled individual feels they've been discriminated against due to lack of reasonable adjustments, they can take the matter to court.

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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