Council approves plans to transform South Shields listed building into aparthotel

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 16 June 2021


UK: After a fire damaged historic Victoria Hall in South Shields in late May, plans have surfaced to transform the historic hall into an aparthotel.

The grade-II listed building has been a part of town history since its construction, which is listed in 1896, along with a few twentieth century renovations. Victoria Hall has been the host of town dances and the home to local restaurants, most recently an Italian restaurant, La Rossa, for 125 years.

In recent years, in periods where the building sat vacant, drug farms took residence. The building was raided by police to expel these drug farms in both 2014 and 2019. 

The building caught fire over the bank holiday weekend in May, and authorities are unsure as to whether the fire was started maliciously. 

In 2019, plans were submitted by Property Developments Ltd to the South Tyneside Council to convert the building into an aparthotel, promising to maintain some of the original elements of the building, specifically the tiled name “Victoria Hall'' on the floor of the entrance. 

The decision report from planners emphasized that the development would “convey sensitive consideration of its surroundings and protect, preserve and enhance the historic character, heritage, visual appearance and contextual importance of the listed building.”

The South Tyneside Council's planning department approved the plan from 2019, as well as a bid on June 11 of this year for listed building consent. This plan included a subdivision on the main floor and a new mezzanine floor. This plan would create seven flats, six one-bedroom units and one two-bedroom units. 

The completion of this plan would create one full-time position and two part-time positions.

The council added several amendments to the plan in order to comply with their historic environment order. With these amendments, the council agreed that the plan was acceptable and would not harm the South Shields town centre. 

A planning officer said:  “It is considered that the proposed aparthotel within a secondary shopping frontage of South Shields town centre would not harm the vitality and viability of the town centre or its primary shopping frontages. The proposed development would bring a prominent vacant building back into use. As such, it is considered that the proposed development would be appropriate and is in accordance with Policies SC2 and SS7 of the South Tyneside Local Development Framework and the National Planning Policy Framework.”


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