Shropshire Star

Ironbridge hotel renovations approved despite 'jarringly modern' lighting

Plans for renovation work at an historic Shropshire hotel to meet fire restrictions have been approved, despite some concerns about ‘jarringly modern’ lighting.

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The Tontine Hotel in Ironbridge. Picture: Google

The Grade II listed Tontine Hotel in Ironbridge is describe as an ‘elegant’ 18th century Georgian building which was designed by the architect John Haycock in around 1800.

The hotel was designed with visitors in mind to view the world famous first Iron Bridge.

Telford & Wrekin Council has approved proposals which include upgrading the existing fire alarm system, including internal emergency/escape lighting and installation of side and rear external lighting.

Applicant Stonegate Pub Company said that the alterations are needed to ‘meet current standards’.

“The external lights are located to the rear and side of the property providing illumination to make for safe means of escape without impacting on the key elevation of the listed structure,” said the applicant.

The council’s built heritage officer supported the application due to the proposed external lighting being ‘discreet in siting, massing and design’ with all of the lights except one being visible from the hotel’s rear courtyard.

However, they added: “The proposed internal lighting is considered to be more visually obtrusive and jarringly modern within the hotel’s historic interior, however the minor harm caused to the building’s character is considered to be outweighed by the significant benefit of enhanced public security.”

The approved proposals also include the replacement, repair or upgrade of 25 internal doors.

The layout of the listed structure will remain as existing, bar the addition of a new glazed door and sidescreens in the ground floor lobby area to improve ‘means of escape’.

Stonegate Pub Company states that the proposed works are ‘localised internal repairs’ and that the replacement doors and frames will be of matching materials and detail to the existing.

The planning officer concluded that the proposed scheme is ‘acceptable in terms of both scale and design; respecting and responding positively to the context of the application site and surrounding area’.

They added: “The proposed works are overall sympathetic and maintain the character and setting of the listed building.”

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