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Planning Application submitted for a new hotel annex and gym in Stone, Staffordshire.


The Maltings, Stone, Staffordshire.

The proposed redevelopment of ‘The Maltings’, located on Crown Street to the rear of 28 High Street, Stone Staffordshire. The proposals are for the conversion of the Grade II Listed former Malt house, which borders Adies Alley to Hotel Accommodation and a Gym to be used by the neighbouring Crown Hotel, as well as a ground floor Retail Unit.


Following the refusal of planing permission for the agricultural development and residential accommodation on site at a smallholding in Bugle, Cornwall, En-Plan submitted an Appeal to the Planing Inspectorate.  After representing the applicants at a Public Hearing the appeal was allowed a shown by the decision below:

Approval has previously been granted for conversion of ‘the Maltings’, including development of the adjacent car showroom site to form a new build residential block, as per the following details: Application No. 12/17205/FUL Decision: Approved, 15 February 2013 Development: Conversion of the Maltings to two ground floor shops and three duplex apartments and construction of new apartments building with undercroft parking, a car showroom and five apartments. This approval was not implemented and has now expired.

The objective is to redevelop and rejuvenate a site that is located in a key area of Stone town centre, with the benefit of enhancing the appearance of an important pedestrian route to the canal through Adies Alley. This will be achieved through a carefully considered, respectful and quality refurbishment of a vacant run down historic Grade II Listed building, providing a new retail shop to Adies Alley, which will encourage and attract people along the canal route. The development will enhance the urban context of Adies Alley and Crown Street, offer distinctive high quality accommodation linked to an existing successful hotel business, whilst ensuring the restoration and future care of the historic ‘Malthouse’ building.

The Urban context illustration opposite shows the development site in relation to Stone Town Centre. Adies Alley is a pathway that links the High Street to Crown Street, and is fully pedestrianised. There is a significantly large footfall through Adies Alley, passing directly by ‘The Maltings’ building, partly due to the location of a car park opposite the development site. This proposal offers the opportunity to extend the active frontage into Adies Alley, with the inclusion of a new retail unit at the ground floor level of ‘The Maltings’, as well as formation of the new hotel and gym entrance. The urban context of Crown Street can best be described as a ‘dead edge’ to the High Street town centre urban block, comprising of non active frontages, car parking and delivery points. This urban perimeter offers little for people to visit and could be viewed as a barrier between the Canal front and the High Street. The illustrations to the right demonstrates that the proposal will address this corner and benefit the urban context. In addition, development of ‘The Maltings’ site will establish a strong link with the neighbouring Crown Hotel, bringing a further increase in footfall along Adies Alley and Crown Street and better including these areas within the urban centre.

The existing window and door openings are to be retained. In enabling a functioning and feasible conversion, more glazing is required in certain areas. A total of 8No. new window openings are proposed, mainly to the elevation facing Adies Alley. These windows are of the same size and proportion to those openings to the left of the elevation on the same floor. Other openings are either to be glazed in their current form, or else they are to be re-instated as window or door openings by removing the brickwork infill, and glazing as elsewhere. Where the new internal partition layout runs across existing openings, it is proposed to retain the structural opening its entirety with a timber infill panel to the part where glazing is not required. This will allow the outlines of original openings are clearly visible and that the way in which the building has changed is legible.

The doorways to the proposed shop will have a glazed door with an exterior timber shutter door which will remain open when the shop is in use. Signage and offers can then be fixed to the rear of the door and there will be a clear open or shut visual effect. Introducing new windows onto the alley will introduce natural surveillance and overlooking of the alley, making it a safer and more welcoming route for pedestrians. Full details of all new window openings are shown on the proposed elevations and on the window schedule.

Spalling damage has affected brickwork in places which will require remedial treatment. In these locations the intention where possible is to remove the bricks, turn them and replace with a clean face out. If brickwork quality is too poor, or a special brick is affected, or a previous repair is of poor quality masonry then the closest match in terms of colour and texture will be sought for use as a replacement.
The images below indicate the different types of brick used, and show the differing effects of spalling, mortar erosion and previous alterations or repairs. It appears that a mixture of lime mortar and sand cement mortar has been used in the building over time, and principally sand cement mortar for repairs due to the faster rate of hardening.

Existing sand cement mortar will be raked out and repointed with lime mortar. In conjunction with this, a breathable internal wall lining will be used (see section 3.06) on the inside.
There are a number of existing windows that have previously been bricked up and are proposed to be reinstated. The right-most image below shows a typical infill. Generally, the infill brickwork does not match in size and so has not been keyed in, meaning that it can be removed without the need to cut any original bricks.
In instances where entirely new openings are to be formed; the brickwork to be carefully removed and quoined up to jambs. Any original bricks of corresponding size removed in this process to be cleaned and reclaimed for use in spalling repairs.

The existing interior walls will be battened off and dry-lined with a breathable insulation system suitable for historic buildings in order to bring the thermal performance of the building up to modern building standards, and protect the existing masonry interior. The exact system has not yet been chosen, but the example below gives an indication of the type of product that will be used. ‘Pavadry’ is a natural wood-fibre insulation intended for use in historic buildings. It is breathable and works well with lime-mortar masonry walls to prevent condensation build-up. This system can be easily removed in the future as required and enables a small void for the concealing of services, meaning a minimal impact on the existing masonry.

The kiln is two storeys in height and is proposed to form part of the gym, providing a distinctive feature room. The principle is to thoroughly clean the existing space and conserve or repair as elsewhere. It is anticipated that the space would be suitable for free standing gym equipment, located centrally.
The unique kiln drying floor will be visible from the space below and lighting will enhance features to make the best appearance of the space. Presently just above the kiln drying floor is a structural timber floor which has provided protection to the area. The timber floor is proposed for re-use as a bedroom space, and will be treated, insulated and preserved as elsewhere.

The discussions carried out with regards to the practice’s previously approved scheme has informed the design decisions with these new proposals for ‘The Maltings’. New windows either in thermally broken aluminium or in painted timber are proposed for all new and replacement windows. The frames will be anthracite grey painted or powder coated which gives a reduced visual impact in line with the open apertures that the building would have presented in its heyday, in line with our overall design philosophy. Balustrades and guard rails to Juliet balconies are proposed to be sheet glass for maximum transparency and presentation of an industrial opening rather than a guard rail. The existing entrance shutter to the courtyard on the Southeast Elevation which is presently profiled steel, will be replaced with a timber shutter fixed in the open position.

The Heritage Design Strategy sets out the decisions made in reference to the conservation of ‘The Maltings’ building. The appearance of this building will change principally in improving the quality of the existing, with the introduction of some new elements such as the new windows, hanging signs for the shop, new or refurbished timber shutter elements etc. The existing Maltings building is built principally from red imperial brickwork and clay tiled roof, the existing materials or closest feasible match for necessary replacements will be used in the conversion as indicated in section 2.0 Design Strategy. New windows will be heritage style dark grey aluminium or timber, with some frameless glass in suitable locations. Other than these small modifications, the building will remain generally unchanged, expect for repair work to renovate and restore existing finishes and surfaces. This will include repairing/replacing the roof structure like for like, carrying out brick repairs and repointing to all elevations.

The buildings will meet the provisions of Approved Document Part M of the Building Regulations wherever feasible within the constraints of a historic building. Reference and guidance will be taken from BS8300 in the design of all new elements. No fundamental access issues are anticipated, though due to the nature of ‘The Maltings’, a lift will not be provided, and stepped access to the shops and upper floors is unavoidable. All new stairs will fully meet the requirements of Approved Document Part M, as will all door opening widths, handrails, guardrails, switch and socket heights and so on. Where elements must necessarily differ from the recommended approach, due to the nature of the historic building, a full access statement will be provided to Building Control for approval. The general principal will be that all new access works should constitute an improvement over the existing situation, even if they cannot fully comply with all modern standards.


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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