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Historic town centre building could be turned into flats

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 24/11/2022 Nick Statham
132 Drake Street, Rochdale. © Google Street View. 132 Drake Street, Rochdale.

A Grade II listed building in one of Rochdale’s most historic streets could be turned into flats. Proposals to convert the early 19th century property, on the corner of Drake Street and Moore Street, have been lodged with the council.

Built in the early 1800s, it was originally a ‘high status’ detached home for a middle class family, but had been converted into offices by the 1920s - a use that remained until very recently. Now the owners want to transform it into eight apartments - including a first floor extension and a loft conversion - as well as building a three-bed house on the car park at the back.

Each flat would have one bedroom, bar a single apartment which would have two. Planning papers say the applicant wishes to redevelop the site as there has been ‘very little demand’ for office space and the building is currently vacant and in a state of disrepair.

READ MORE : 'Housing in Rochdale needs investment': Andy Burnham asks why £1m pulled following Awaab Ishak death

Documents add: “It has been vacant for over a year and has been a target for vandals and thieves who have broken in several times and stolen anything of value including all the copper and metal. “The building now requires a large investment to bring it back into use.”

Papers say most of the building would remain unaffected by the proposals - bar the small first floor extension and two dormer windows to the rear. “The extension and dormer will be traditional in style and appearance with materials to match the existing building,” documents add.

And while it is accepted that the new two-storey dwelling to the rear would ‘affect the view of the listed building', the applicant argues this would ‘not have any negative impact as the rear elevation is of no architectural merit with unsympathetic additions and alterations’.

“Its mass and scale is in keeping with the listed building and surrounding housing and it sits comfortably within the street scene,” papers add. Window detailing and materials are also said to have been chosen to ‘’mimic neighbouring properties.

Documents go on to describe the building as being within walking distance of the town centre ‘and all the usual amenities close by’.

“The site is served by great public transport links and also accessible for private vehicles,” papers add. “All the dwellings will be built to very high standards using the best building standards and materials.”

The applicant claims the property will be highly energy efficient, with the windows also ‘designed to make best use of natural daylight views’. The use of solar panels to help heat up the hot water is also being considered.

There would be one parking space at the development and all the properties would be available at market prices. The scheme does not include and 'affordable' or social housing. Rochdale council will decide whether to grant planning permission for the scheme.

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