DLP have successfully obtained planning permission, Listed Building Consent and Advertisement Consent to convert the Grade II* Listed Carbrook Hall, a former public house (A4 use), to a coffee shop (A3 use) with a drive thru facility for Starbucks.
The building dates from the 12th Century when the former timber-framed Hall was home to the Blunt family. Subsequently owned by the Bright family, John Bright used the property for Parliamentary meetings during the civil war. The property was originally surrounded by fields and the River Dun. However, the area changed considerably following the start of the steel industry in the early 1800s. After 1855, the building was used as a public house and appears to have been in this use until its closure in 2017.
The applications were coordinated by DLP, alongside Self Architects on behalf of the applicant and owners of the building West Street Leisure Ltd. Pre-application engagement with the Council and Historic England was undertaken at the outset of the project.
Amendments were made to the scheme following concerns raised with regards to the position of the proposed new extension to accommodate the drive thru facility, obstructing a previously unaltered elevation, and the potential for significant harm to the setting of the listed building by isolating the building within a traffic island. Mitigation measures were adopted including the provision of additional landscaping and appropriate materials and finishes.
The proposed signage was also reviewed and reduced where possible and practical. The harm was weighed against the public benefits of the proposal in accordance with the NPPF. It was recognised that having a long-term tenant in the building would help secure the initial high quality fit out and refurbishment of the building and also ensure its long-term maintenance. The building will undergo substantial refurbishment and sensitive restoration which will significantly reduce the risk of further decay.
The proposals will also allow the general public to enter the building and appreciate its internal historic fabric. This is of particular benefit given the building is also an Asset of Community Value. The applications were recommended for approval by Officers and subsequently granted permission by Planning Committee.