Housing cash could help save historic Bretby Pottery

A HOUSING development could help finance a facelift for the Bretby Pottery site which is standing derelict and has become a target for vandals.

Bretby Art Pottery Showroom, in Swadlincote Road, Woodville, has stood derelict for 20 years and has been ransacked and left empty by thieves. However the Heritage Trust has taken it on in a bid to return it to its former glory but it needs money.

Mick Goodwin has applied to South Derbyshire District Council for permission to build 27 affordable homes next to the Grade II listed showroom, which is hoped would provide a financial contribution into saving the showroom site.

However, following a planning committee meeting at the district council, members chose to defer the decision which has been recommended for approval to allow a noise impact analysis report.

The application site was previously occupied by several industrial buildings associated with the Bretby Art Pottery. The site has been cleared of any buildings, apart from the Grade II Listed Bretby Art Pottery showroom.

The application would include 10 one-bed homes; 10 two-bed homes; five three-bed homes; and two four-bed homes – all provided as a mix of maisonettes, terraced and semi-detached properties. A mix of social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing is envisaged; the tenure and occupancy administered by Trent & Dove Housing.

The application for listed building consent is required for the works to demolish the existing boundary wall to Swadlincote Road and its rebuild it to a reduced height of 900mm along its length (save for across the proposed access).

The report to the council by the applicant highlights the importance of 'opening up views of the Bretby Art Pottery building and framing the existing building within the street scene, and the importance of providing vistas and focal areas within the scheme.

The report also added that the mix of housing within the scheme has been developed in conjunction with local housing associations and responds to local needs.

The council's conservation officer hopes that a contribution could be made towards the restoration of the showroom which would benefit the wider site.

However, it was noted that a previous plan to build homes on the site was dismissed at appeal after the inspector noted that the site is in a noise-sensitive location bordered by commercial sites and Swadlincote Road. Councillor Steve Taylor, who represents Woodville on the district council, was also concerned the site is surrounded on three sides by industry, and on the fourth by a major road with traffic congestion.

The Heritage Trust has also applied to board the rear external door and two doors to the basement of the pottery showroom to provide added security. An alarm system has recently been installed in the fight against the risk of vandalism and thefts which the building suffers from.

The trust has recently acquired the famous art pottery showroom, and is in the process of undertaking a community consultation to find a new use for the building and apply for grant funding in order to fully restore it and ensure that any new uses will enable the building to be self-sustaining.

Given similar projects around the country, it is forecasted that it may take up to two years until grant funding can be obtained to restore the building so that it can be used by the public.

Article reproduced from the Burton Mail 19-08-16. View the original article here

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