IHBC’s ‘Heritage from the doorstep’: Inspector refuses plan to turn part of listed Beverley shop into a home

The property is part of a Grade 2 listed building, the Old Coaching House, formerly a Georgian coaching inn called the Tiger Inn, built in 1732.

The inn’s ground floor was divided into a parade of shops in the early 1800s, with residential accommodation above.

It was argued that the empty downstairs retail unit, previously occupied by Streamers, had only proved viable in the past when the owners lived upstairs.

It has been empty for around five years.

However several nearby retailers felt allowing the change of use in a shop which “has traded successfully since 1871” would set a worrying precedent for other buildings in the town.

The application was refused last October.

Inspector Fiona Cullen said when she visited she saw some “To Let” signs, but they were “limited in number” compared to those in active commercial use.

She concluded: “Even though the area is located outside of the main commercial core and as such, in a more challenging environment to attract and maintain footfall, there was no strong indication that this area was failing economically.”

In her report, Ms Cullen said “associated internal alterations” proposed as part of the change of use, and other internal works, had been granted listed building consent, and the majority of works had been completed.

But she said: “Notwithstanding the consented works it has not been sufficiently demonstrated that a retail use within the appeal unit would not be possible or viable.”

She added that the council had no concerns regarding the impact on neighbours or highways, and Beverley Town Council had not objected.

Beverley Civic Society had regretted the loss of retail unit in an otherwise continuous parade of historic retail shops, but felt keeping the shop’s window display “would have some merit”.

The applicant had suggested retaining the display in the windows either side of the door to allow another retailer to have a presence on North Bar Within.

Ms Cullen also noted there had been support from the owner of Tyler and Black.

However, she stated: “These are neutral considerations in the balance and do not outweigh the harm I have found.”

She recognised that the unit had been empty for some years and the proposed use would be hidden behind a partition.

But she considered that it “would fundamentally alter the character of the area by changing the longstanding retail use of this ground floor unit to residential accommodation.”

North Bar Within and North Bar Without are marketed as the town’s Georgian Quarter.

The official website states: “These architecturally fascinating streets, divided by the 15th century North Bar, contain one of the greatest concentrations of listed buildings in the region”.

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