Shropshire Star

Conversion plans approved for ex school boarding house despite parking fears

Plans to convert a former school boarding house into a commercial premises and student accommodation have been approved by the council – despite parking concerns.

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Beaumaris House, Newport. Photo: Google

The second floor of the Grade II listed Beaumaris House in Newport is set to be converted to provide nine student rooms.

The building was previously used as a teaching and boarding space as part of Adams Grammar School.

“The scheme provides an improved appearance to the existing historic fabric, aligning it with the adjacent heritage assets within the existing street scene,” said applicant Nathan Mahn in the design and access statement.

“The proposed internal amendments have been design considerately to respect the existing historic fabric."

Beaumaris House is one of five terraced Grade II listed buildings which have a frontage onto the town’s High Street.

Approved plans show two commercial units on the ground floor with a communal kitchen and shared toilet facilities.

The first floor is proposed to contain a living room, kitchen, laundry facilities and a dining area.

Plans for the second floor include nine bedrooms, shared bathrooms and a ‘snug’ living room. There is also proposed to be a terraced area.

To create the commercial units ‘minor’ modifications will be made to the internal layouts to provide separating walls.

An artist’s impression of how Beaumaris House will look. Picture: Telford & Wrekin Council’s planning portal

The applicant says that due to the site’s location and proximity to Newport the conversion would not ‘necessitate’ the inclusion of additional vehicle parking.

Tim Nelson, chair of the Newport Regeneration Partnership, said that the group is ‘strongly supportive’ of the principle of bringing the ‘abandoned looking’ buildings back into use and additional commercial units on Lower Bar.

However, they raised concerns about the new buildings brining additional ‘unsupported demand upon Newport’s limited visitor parking’.

“The partnership requests that the applicant and future landlords consider voluntarily car-free tenants (students) for any rented units,” said Mr Nelson.

Telford & Wrekin Council’s highways development manager also commented about no private parking for the flats or commercial unit being allocated in the plans.

However, they said that it was within a ‘highly sustainable location’ with good transport links.

They added that ‘multiple’ long-stay public car parks are in ‘close vicinity’ of the building and there are also short-stay parking spaces along the High Street, fronting the site.

“It needs noting also that inappropriate parking along the High Street is deterred by parking restrictions (double yellow lines),” the highways development manager said.

“The local highways authority are confident that the above proposals would not have any detrimental effect to the adopted highway in the vicinity of the site.”

The council’s built heritage specialist was ‘supportive’ of the proposed use and works.

They added: “Subject to conditions the proposed development would maintain the essential form, character and special interest of the Listed Building and cause no harm to the historic fabric.”

A council planning officer concluded that the scheme is ‘acceptable’ in terms of both scale and design.

“The proposed works would be in keeping with the character and appearance of the application site and surrounding Newport Conservation Area,” they concluded.