Proposals have been submitted to create new apartments on the upper floors of a building on Lord Street, to add new ‘vitality’ to Southport town centre.
The scheme, on the first, second and third floors at 140 Lord Street, is part of a growing trend of creating new residential units in vacant upper floor space in the Lord Street area.
Applicant Mr David Lenton is eager to convert office space into three new self-contained flats.
The plans would include the erection of a dormer extension and balcony to the rear elevation.
J7 Architecture is designing the development, which would include the full refurbishment and re-composition of the internal layout to all floors and a loft conversion to the upper-most floor to allow for a proposed roof projection / enclosed balcony.
A planning application has been submitted to Sefton Council.
The site is near Sainsbury’s supermarket, bound by St George’s Place to the immediate North and Lord Street Gardens which itself is bound by Lord Street and to the South by Post Office Avenue and Anchor Street and sits within the wider Lord Street Conservation Area.
The terraced Victorian property is presumed to have been originally constructed at the turn of the 20th Century (1894-1908 according to the Lord Street Conservation Area Appraisal 2017).
The property is considered to be a positive contribution for the character of the conservation area and is historically important in its fusion of architectural styles, presenting aspects of the Tudor Revival with its half timbering projecting bay and deep entrance recess.
J7 Architecture was contacted by the applicant in an attempt to design a high quality scheme which met their needs and was sensitive to the heritage of the building and the wider area.
In the application J7 Architecture said: “Lord Street and Southport more widely has undergone a period of steady economic decline since the late 20th Century with many historic buildings and elements of the public realm suffering as a result.
“The vast majority of the buildings reported as Dangerous Structures to Building Control over the last 20 years have been historic buildings or structures.
“It is highlighted in the Conservation Area Appraisal that much of this deterioration is due to lack of maintenance and poor repairs of historic buildings.
“This ultimately all stems from a lack of investment in the area, specifically in relation to historic buildings.
“It has therefore never been more important in the history of Southport that the historic buildings that help to tell its story were maintained, repurposed and celebrated as they once were; as a small part of a rich, historic tapestry, culminating in a shining example of an early Victorian seaside town.
“The property is currently partially vacant and occupied by the applicant for use as office space and by a single commercial tenant to the ground floor level. As far as it can be established it has been occupied as a commercial premises for much of its recent history.
“It is assumed that the upper levels (currently unused commercial office space) were used as residential space during its early history around the turn of the Century but this cannot be confirmed.
“The proposal seeks to re-purpose the upper floors i.e. those above ground floor level as residential space in the form of three separate flats. These will consist of a two-bed flat to the first floor, a two-bed flat to the second floor and a one-bed penthouse flat the uppermost third floor with the addition of a dormer roof projection with inclusive balcony to the rear.
“The commercial spaces to the ground floor have become difficult to let in recent years and so as a method of combating this, it is proposed that these commercial aspects are linked to the residential spaces above in the form of Live-Work units. This is intended to keep the ground floor an ‘active’ space.
“The bringing back of the whole building into active use will make a positive contribution to the overall vitality and viability of Southport Town Centre.
“The introduction of a series of residential properties to this site is likely to give rise to a modest increase of spending in the immediate area from future occupiers thereby adding to the vitality of the centre.
“As many architectural or historic features as possible internally will be refurbished / retained.”