Flats plan for historic South Shields building

The building in Beach Road
The building in Beach Road

A Grade II-listed 19th century property and its former coach house could get a modern revamp under plans to turn it in to eight flats.

Consultants claim their transformation of the terraced building in Beach Road, South Shields – opposite South Shields town hall – will maintain its historic significance.

But while they insist the project would have a neutral overall effect, they admit some internal changes could be viewed as negative.

These include the creation of new openings in brick walls and the blocking of others.

The proposed project would also see interior walls upgraded to increase sound and fire protection, and the creation of partitions and the removal of some existing walls.

Overall, the scheme would see the new residential units occupying the site’s main two-storey property, its basement and outbuilding.

The findings have been made in an assessment report by North Yorkshire-based Solstice Heritage, an independent consultancy, commissioned by the developer.

In its report, it states: “On balance, the physical effects of the proposed scheme are considered to have an overall minor negative effect on the significance of the listed building.

“Elements of the proposed scheme will result in minor negative impacts, particularly in terms of the physical impacts of some internal period features.

“It is considered, however, that the negative impacts are balanced by the positive impacts of the repair and conservation gain of the proposed scheme.”

“The proposed development is considered to have an overall neutral effect on the significance of the listed building, and, as such, fulfils the heritage criterion of ‘sustainable development’.

“The development seeks to adapt the heritage asset in a mode sympathetic with its surroundings, in order to maintain it in a viable use consistent with its original use and long-term conservation.”

Heritage Solstice also says the design plans seek to retain as much of the building’s original fabric as possible, while respecting its internal layout and with a minimum of external change.

The ground floor front room retains a well-kept period interior with plaster cornicing, a marble fireplace and a wooden bay window.

And a first-floor room has original stained-glass windows and several panelled doors and surrounds.

Most recently, the property, which sits in a row of seven other grade II listed houses, was home to a taxi company’s offices and a solicitors’ practice.

Peole can comment on the planning application, which has been submitted to South Tyneside Council, until Thursday, May 3.