Developer hopes to turn more of historic town building into flats

A developer hopes to turn another section of a historic town centre building into flats.

Gain Spvkl Ltd has submitted a planning application to West Norfolk Council in a bid to turn convert the front of the Bishops Lynn House, in the Tuesday Market Place, from offices to flats.

If approved, the first and second floor areas would be converted into four separate living areas.

Bishops Lynn House on The Tuesday Market Place
Bishops Lynn House on The Tuesday Market Place

Permission for the conversion of office space into 22 apartments within the Grade II-listed building was granted four years ago, and four further proposals were submitted last year.

The borough council’s planning committee has now launched a consultation, with a June 23 deadline set for responses.

A design and access statement submitted by chartered town planner Robin Bryer says that the change of use application “is consistent with the dictum that a listed building is best conserved in its original use”.

Bishops Lynn House on The Tuesday Market Place
Bishops Lynn House on The Tuesday Market Place

Two of the planned flats would not have separate cooking areas, which would instead be incorporated into their living rooms;

Mr Bryer added: “I conclude that the changes within the original fabric are so minimal, in physical terms, as to be acceptable, given prior approval of details of one door insertion and two permanent door closures, as well as, possibly, any living room cooking fixtures.

“I further conclude that the proposals within the 1970s link structure and the 1970s wing itself, listed only by being attached, are not only acceptable in themselves but also to be applauded as aiding the return of the old structure to its original domestic use.

“The four flats would provide attractive living space for, typically, one or two, in a highly sustainable central location, as do the existing 23 units in the modern part of the building, but with the added advantage of their being able to enjoy the spaciousness and period fenestration of the original building’s upper rooms – rather more so, perhaps, than did those who used them as offices, and certainly more appropriately.”

He also said that potential tenants who would cook in their living rooms would benefit from a “more modern lifestyle”.