SWONEWS, 53/55, Castle Street, Hinckley

SWONEWS, 53/55, Castle Street, Hinckley

I was appointed in July 2003 to investigate the possibility of sub-dividing the ground floor retail area into two smaller shop units and converting the remainder of the property at first and second floor into flats.

The building is a Grade II listed building which had become vacant following the closure of the old newsagents. The county archaeologist and LPA conservation officer set out certain requirements with regard to the building including the original staircase and other internal fittings and fixtures, including an old mosaic in the existing shop front entrance area, which had to be retained.

A structural survey was undertaken in July 2003 because of structural defects which were identified during a visual inspection. Planning permission and listed building consent were granted in February 2004 but the building remained vacant.

An asbestos report of a MDHS 100 Type 3 survey was carried out in January 2005 following disconnection of the electricity supply and a further structural engineer’s structural appraisal was undertaken in September 2007. Full plans building regulations approval was granted in April 2008.

A new entrance in the original shop front was approved by the LPA and the floor levels were to be adjusted to provide access for persons with disabilities. The shop front was to be refurbished in accordance with the listed building consent and a new first floor extension was approved to replace an old felt roof. Plain clay tiles and imperial sized red/orange bricks are to be obtained to match the old extension to the rear of the main building.

Work commenced on site in June 2009 and the building is now substantially complete comprising two retail units and ground floor level and two flats at first and second floor level.