Historic Hessle building to be restored to former glory after being left to go derelict

Councillors have approved plans to renovate a Victorian flat building where drugs equipment was found after being left in a poor condition for years.

East Riding councillors heard the 19th Century building, in Southfield, Hessle, had not been maintained for about two decades and was now a blot on a conservation area.

David Etridge, agent for the developer behind the application, said the works would restore the building to its former glory, with the number of flats cut from seven to six.

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Committee member and Hessle ward’s Coun Phil Davison said some residents had objected over parking and overlooking from the flats but most of their concerns had since been dealt with.

The house in Hessle which is to be restored

Plans stated the building, which dates from 1860, would be extended at the rear with new dormer windows and roof lights also set to be installed.

The area at the front of the three storey building will be gravelled over for parking which would be screened by a privet hedge.

Each of the flat’s balconies will be fitted with screens on either side to stop their occupants looking into neighbouring gardens.

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Seven objections were lodged against the application and while many said they agreed with the conversion in principle they added they were concerned there would not be enough parking.

Other objectors also said they were concerned that their homes would be visible from the flats, affecting their privacy, with Hessle Town Council also strongly objecting over parking.

Mr Etridge told the committee applicants were aware of locals’ concerns but the renovation and measures including the screens would mean the works would be of benefit on balance.

The agent said: “Our plans will change these from seven very poor quality flats into six high quality ones. The flats are currently in an extremely poor state, they haven’t been maintained for about 20 years.

“Some flats were still being let out until last year, needles and other drugs items were found in some of them. There’s only been a few objections to the plans, but hopefully locals will be able to appreciate the enhancement this will bring to the area.

“The building’s been an eyesore for a while, these plans will restore it to its former glory. A 1970s dormer will be removed and replaced with something more sympathetic. Parking facilities will be better, the front of the site will be used whereas only a section of the front driveway was used before.”

Coun Davison said he felt most of the concerns had been dealt with through changes to the plans.

The ward member said: “There have been a number of objections from residents to this, some of which have been addressed.

“For those either side of the building there’s now 1.8m screens on the edge of flat balconies, they will stop overlooking into their gardens," he said. “Some objectors said initially that cars shouldn’t be parked on the building’s front garden but they now accept developer’s moves to get them off the street.

“But the number of spaces is limited to six cars, I reckon that these particular flats will be of such high quality that you will have people there with more than one car. Parking on the road in that area can be difficult.

“Conditions recommended for the application about allowing a hedge at the front of the building to grow should be changed because the hedge doesn’t exist at the moment, it’s more like overgrowth.”