Saturday 13 July 2024
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Former M&S in Nottinghamshire could be demolished for new apartment block

There are “serious concerns” over plans to demolish a former Marks & Spencer building to make way for housing in a Nottinghamshire town.

Newark and Sherwood District Council has applied to turn the site, which has been empty since M&S vacated in 2019, into a four-storey development with 29 apartments.

The plans would see the demolition of the “unattractive” building in Stodman Street in the town centre, but the retention of the Art Deco façade.

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But heritage organisation Historic England has raised concerns over the plans, which it says would be “harmful to the character, appearance and significance of the Newark Conservation area by virtue of its bulk and inappropriate design”.

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Newark Civic Trust disagreed and said the plans would mark “a significant improvement” to the area.

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Council officers are reccomending that councillors approve the plans, which the authority says would have “a significant positive benefit through redeveloping a brownfield site for mixed use, including housing”.

The one and two-bedroom apartments on the first, second and third floors would also have a shared communal space and some apartments would have private balconies.

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The ground floor would host co-working spaces.

Historic England did not object to the plans but wrote that it had “serious concerns” about the project on heritage grounds.

They said: “This is a key strategic site for Newark and its redevelopment will set a benchmark for future development within the town centre.

“As previously outlined, we are very concerned that the current approach is not the right approach for this location and that it will set an undesirable precedent for future development in Newark, harming the character and appearance of the conservation area rather than enhancing it, and therefore ultimately not meeting the policy objectives and the statutory duty in relation to conservation areas.

“We acknowledge that the scheme has been revisited following our previous
comments, however, the proposed revisions have failed to address our fundamental concerns.”

A total of 12 parking spaces and 48 cycle spaces would also be included with the development.

A council report on the plan states: “The proposed development of 29 dwellings has been designed to create a modern and complimentary scheme that will enhance the currently unattractive site and provide high-quality housing stock for the local community.

“There should be no adverse impact with relation to dominance, shadowing, loss of light, privacy or outlook over any neighbouring buildings. The proposal
is sympathetic, yet contemporary and aims to enhance the already established town centre urban fabric.

“The development will provide valuable housing to the area, currently in demand, therefore supporting the social and economic aspirations of Newark.”

The plans will be discussed by the council’s planning committee on 15 February.

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