Buildings on Starbeck High Street

An application for prior approval of the demolition of a series of High Street buildings in the town of Starbeck near Harrogate:

Built as Harper’s Grocery (a name still embossed in the stone), this building has stood derelict since a fire in 2018, which destroyed the roof and left the structure beyond repair, at least in the words of the developer.

The Conservation Officer in this instance has his hands tied by the fact that the building sits just outside the conservation area, albeit next door to a listed church. He has urged the reuse of the historic facade, but the plans show the building being replaced:

The building appears to be of a high quality, taking cues from the current structure. A good planner would manage to get the impressive facade retained, with any new development built of matching stone. The pre-application dialogue, not being a matter of public record, probably has established the outcome of this site already.

The redevelopment is supported with suspicious alacrity by the Ward Councillor. Fires, irreparable roofs, and zealous politicians always ring alarms bells with me. I’ll say no more…

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