Hoping to put building to use
0:00am Fri Oct 16, 2009
The owners are open to suggestions for the use of 1 and 3 Northgate, Newark. - 141009MAT1-3
A building with parts dating back to 1480 could become apartments as the owners have struggled to find other uses for it.
Architect Ros Nicholson told Newark Town Council planning committee on Wednesday that she and her family bought 1 and 3 Northgate, on the corner of the junction with The Wharf, about nine years ago.
She said they researched its history, which revealed interesting information but had raised as many questions as answers.
She believed part of it used to be a merchant’s house and the wing along The Wharf appeared to date to 1480.
She said the wing along Northgate, which contains a fine staircase, dated from about 1680.
It has been unused for three years but has been used in the past as a bed and breakfast, an office complex and student accommodation. Part of it was once the offices for the Transport and General Workers’ Union.
Ros Nicholson said they had been looking for an alternative use for five years without success.
She said it would be too expensive to convert it into a hotel, there were too many problems with listed buildings for hostel use and it was too small for a youth hostel.
She said the YMCA turned it down because it could not afford it.
She said the suggestion now was to convert it into six apartments, which she said would cause minimal alteration to the historic fabric and would provide high-quality homes.
But she said she was happy to hear from anyone with other ideas.
“I have grown very fond of it and want it to be put to some sort of use,” she said.
The committee vice-chairman, Mr Chris Gangel, thought an ideal use would be as either a museum or private club but suggested that funding could be a problem.
Mr Tony Roberts sympathised and thought it would not work as a hotel because it was not big enough.