We have submitted our comments on proposals to convert No.7 Cowbridge to residential use.
The proposal is for: “Change of use from Class A1 (retail use) to create one four bedroom dwelling; alterations to openings and fenestration; new roof light to second floor; creation of new side entrance way; car-parking space to side and installation of railings and plinth walls to front and side.”
Although the application involves a change of use from retail to residential, the premises has been empty for many years. So, while it is a pity to lose a town centre commercial space, we judge that it is more important to preserve this beautiful, grade 2 listed building than to attempt to keep it as a commercial property. Furthermore, the conversion of the frontage will fit in well with the rest of the street.
We also welcome the removal unsympathetic changes – the removal of the shop window to be replaced by a smaller one in the original historical position.
We note that this building contains swift nests, a bird on the ‘red’ list of endangered species (BTO/RSPB). Swifts migrate back to the same nest each year and any disturbance is very problematic. We, therefore, strongly urge the developer to include swift bricks in any construction work and to take expert advice on the siting of these.
We do not consider the addition of railings at the front of the property to be necessary or desirable. We do not think that they add to the sense of history of the building as railings would not have been a historic feature, or that they are in keeping with the rest of the street. So, we would prefer to see this element omitted.