This week, officers from Herefordshire Council’s planning service met with Hereford based architect Hook Mason Ltd and representatives from Historic England.
The meeting, which took place at the fire damaged buildings in High Town, Hereford, aimed to agree structural matters raised in a pre-planning application advice by Hook Mason Ltd.
A practical stance was taken by all parties, particularly in relation to a replacement façade incorporating as much historic fabric as possible. It was considered that, subject to a satisfactory structural condition report, such an approach would enable careful demolition whilst allowing reusable stone architectural features to be retained. This in turn would present a more practical basis for redevelopment, assisting with project costs and therefore its marketability.
Councillor Philip Price, cabinet member for infrastructure, said: “This is a major step forward for the fire damaged buildings and by working closely with Historic England, we believe we have made the property much more marketable.
"I understand that following this week’s key meeting, pre-application advice for a marketable planning application was effectively given the green light this morning. We will now do all we can to keep this moving on until completion, although will continue to closely monitor the project and reserve the right to take further action if early progress is not achieved.”