fbpx

Demolition plan for old Hedon Post Office – Town Council objects

Hedon Town Councillors have objected to the proposed demolition of the old Post Office building in Market Place. The objection will be submitted to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council planning department.

Hedon Town Councillors have objected to the proposed demolition of the old Post Office building in Market Place. The objection will be submitted to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council planning department.

At its planning meeting last night, Hedon Town Council considered once again the application for planning permission to demolish the old Post Office building and construct in its place two ground-floor business units with two small flats above. Once again the council objected to the proposal.

“Sweet shop windows”

Councillor Sarah Rommell perhaps captured the mood of the meeting when she said: “The sweet shop windows of the old building add to the character of the town, you just need to look at the number of photos and pictures taken of the place over years to see that.”

The old Post Office, built in the 1950s on the site of the Tiger Inn, is not a listed building but councillors had been advised that it was ‘not harmful’ to the special Hedon conservation area. But whether the building itself has character is open to differing interpretations.

Humble Heritage consultancy acting on behalf of the applicant, Mr Saunders, said in its heritage statement:

The assessment of significance in this report finds that the application site is a modern building that does not have any heritage significance. Indeed its discordant design and incongruous single storey height is not in keeping with the traditional Market Place and townscape at Hedon.

It is a modern building that lacks any historic fabric, features or fittings.

Humble Heritage Ltd Heritage Statement 21 Dec 20

However, in its April 2020 submission Historic England offers a differing view:

The Post Office is a modest yet characterful 1950s building that has been constructed to be sympathetic to the conservation area. Care and attention have been paid to the form and materials, the bay windows, reflecting a shop front from the late 18th and early 19th century. The building positively contributes towards the character of the area, and its low height allows view through to St. Augustine’s Church.

Historic England 27 April 20

The other issue raised by this debate is whether demolition of the old building is really necessary or could the existing building be used for new purposes?

Humble Heritage in the same document quoted above thinks a new building makes more economic and environmental sense and would benefit the character of old Hedon. It would allow for an upper floor to be constructed (the existing building does not have an upper floor space) for use as two 1-bedroom apartments. There would be additional floorspace both forwards and to the rear to accommodate two businesses. A new well-designed building would actually enhance and fit in more with the character and appearance of the town; it would be built sensitively with due regard to its historic setting. A new building would be built to modern standards to improve the environmental sustainability of the development. In contrast, the existing building would require considerable investment in its repair and modernisation to achieve a satisfactory design.

Historic England has reiterated in its submissions that the current building positively contributes to the character of the area and that there does not seem to be a clearly stated justification for the demolition proposed.

Mr Stephen Walker on behalf of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Conservation Officer in his submission in November 2020 stated that the area contains a high ratio of Grade II listed buildings, and the existing building is not considered as being harmful. The introduction of a new building into this area would be in contradiction of the defined special character and appearance of the conservation area.

Again, Mr Walker offered the view that the demolition would require a high degree of justification.

Another relevant issue regarding this planning application is the economic development that might be stimulated should the planning application be approved. There will be temporary employment in the construction phase and then any employment that might result from businesses established in the two units. The expectation is that new businesses will attract more footfall in the town centre from which other local businesses would benefit. A councillor at the meeting last night did ask how many business units in the town centre were already vacant, and queried whether two new units being available would necessarily result in an increased demand for premises? But the economic argument is a powerful one and has resulted in the application obtaining the support of several local business owners.

Hedon Town Council’s objection: Although a lot of the concerns raised by Hedon Town Council had been addressed by the amended plans, the Council objected to the application as it was still felt that there was no justification for demolishing the building, and the Council objected strongly to the loss of the bay windows as they were an important part of the street scene. Members also raised their concern that there was no mention of whether the post office box, which currently sits outside the building, would remain. Should the Planning Officer not agree with the Town Council’s recommendation, the application should be put before the ERYC Planning Committee.

Hedon Town Council

The planning application 20/01029/PLF can be tracked at the East Riding Planning Access web portal.

8 thoughts on “Demolition plan for old Hedon Post Office – Town Council objects

  1. A decision has been reached on this planning application. Permission has been REFUSED based upon concerns that it involves the demolition of the existing building and its replacement by a building with “uncharacteristic modern features, and of greater height, bulk, mass, and prominence, than that it replaces, would detract from the character and appearance of the historic Market Place…”.

    1. Mr Ray Duffill.
      What a fantastic achievement you have received saving this beautiful building and saving it from demolition. A pat on the back from me

  2. I believe the post office is a 1954 Ministry of Works building.

    The foundations will probably be unsuitable for for building a 1st floor so it will have to come down to be developed, hence the planning application to attempt cram as much as possible onto quite a small plot of land, 2 retails units & 2 flats, really ?

    All quite unsuitable in my opinion,

  3. The applicant’s expectation that new business premises will both attract new businesses and increase footfall is a moot point whilst there are a number of empty business premises.

    ‘Build it and they will come’ is all well and good when there is a demonstrable shortage in available business units. However that is not currently the case in Hedon.

    I agree with Cllr. Rommel’s observation that the existing building frontage – whilst neither listed nor of any great age – adds character to the Market Place. Perhaps the existing building could be extended upwards to facilitate new residential accommodation and the ground floor interior rearranged to provide two bow-fronted business units. The two units could share a front door, so the building frontage isn’t greatly changed and space made to install separate secondary doors for each unit inside.

  4. There is an interesting illustrated article about Hedon in issue 71 of the ‘Just Beverley’ magazine. It is entitled ‘HEAD FOR HEDON – A FESTIVE STROLL THROUGH FORMER GLORIES’ and was written by Ian Richardson in December 2020. In the article Ian says “I especially love the bow fronts of the former post office, hopefully it will soon be reoccupied”. Ian has included four lovely photographs and one of them is entitled ‘Former Post Office’. This photograph also shows the tops of the trees and St.Augustine’s Church.
    I have lived in Hedon since 1979 and it would be such a pity to see the former post office demolished.

  5. I don’t live in Hedon but how can such a beautiful building be demolished why Carnt the office unit move into the building as it is and modernise the interior to get the wow factor.
    Please please keep as much character in these towns

Leave a comment. You need to leave your FULL NAME.