Historic building set to rise like phoenix from the ashes
Plans to bring a fire-ravaged historic building in Hereford town centre back into viable use have cleared their final hurdle.
Elevate Property Group, the Birmingham-based developer, has been granted detailed listed building and planning consent by Herefordshire Council to redevelop 16-18 High Town.
Work will start early in the New Year on the project, now known as Alban House, to create 14 new apartments, three two-bedroom penthouse and one refurbished cottage (see images below).
The apartments will be a mix of eight one-bedroom and six two-bedroom units, while on the ground floor there will be two retail units and associated parking.
The original buildings, which had their origins in the 15th and 16th centuries, with 18th and 20th century additions, were gutted by fire and have stood empty since October 2010.
For more than six years, attempts to redevelop the site failed until Elevate Property Group intervened earlier this year and purchased the site.
The breakthrough in the six-year saga came with an historical appraisal produced by Philip Belchere, of Hereford architects Hook Mason.
In a report first produced in October 2015 and revised in May 2016, he secured agreement with Historic England that, in effect, the damage was too serious to warrant insisting on extensive retention of the existing fabric of the buildings.
The project will be managed and overseen by development managers BACE Construction Consultants.
A local contractor will be announced shortly.
Steve Dodd, managing director of Elevate Property Group, said: “It has been a long slog to get to this stage, with so many issues to be resolved, but I am now delighted that Herefordshire Council has given us the go ahead.
“We have worked closely with planning officers who have been supportive in understanding our vision for this site and helping us to create a satisfactory solution.”
Elevate has a strong track record in tackling renovation and refurbishment projects, especially in city centres.
In the past two years, it has completed four such projects in Birmingham city centre now including some of the city’s most desirable homes.
Other projects include homes in Malvern, where it completed a sympathetic yet contemporary conversion of the former Holywell chapel and music room, in which Edward Elgar once played and taught, as well as Well House school.
The apartments are expected to be priced from £135,000 for the one bedroom apartments, ranging up to £350,000.