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HEREFORDSHIRE: City area refurb approved

HEREFORDSHIRE: City area refurb approved

A visualisation of the planned redevelopment of Bastion Mews, Hereford, with (inset) a plan of the site boundaries.

Plans to transform a “shabby and underused” area of Hereford’s historic centre into a flexible commercial and accommodation space have been given the go-ahead.

Bastion Mews, an area bounded by the northern city wall, Union Street and the Bath Street police station, currently contains several commercial premises.

These include Shack Revolution, an “industrial weddings and events venue” owned by brothers James and Rich Manning, trading as Manbro Developments.

Having redeveloped that property, two then bought up neighbouring premises, including a bike shop and a record shop, Temple Records, both of which they now plan to demolish.

The existing Bastion House, thought to date from the 1800s, will be adapted for residential apartments.

A second entrance will also be created via the former Papaya gift shop, now vacant, at 18 Union Street, to boost the number of people who can use the site, currently capped at 130.

New buildings will take the form of stacked “modular pods” made from reused steel shipping containers, creating “a post-industrial aesthetic”, the application said.

These will have solar panels on the roofs and will collect rainwater for on-site use.

James Manning told councillors the area would be “a thriving centre for start-up enterprises, as we were once, where businesses can enjoy flexible terms and low start-up costs”.

“We hope to continue the transformation that we started at the Shack across Bastion Mews as a whole by removing and redeveloping the poorer stock and refurbishing the historic elements,” he said.

The planning officer’s report said: “The principle of the regeneration of this somewhat dilapidated site within a key location in the city centre is welcomed and the proposed uses are acceptable.”

Councillors on the planning committee, who visited the site earlier this week, unanimously agreed.

One aspect of the development that won them round was the low impact the pods would have on the historic site’s potential archaeological interest, as they would require minimal footings and could readily be removed.

The council’s historic buildings officer had objected to the “harm to the surrounding historic environment” they would cause, although Historic England did not object.

Last summer Manbro took on and restored the grade II* listed Booth House, also within the city.

Words: Gavin McEwan, Local Democracy Reporter


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