On Air Now

Non Stop Beyond

Midnight - 6:00am

Now Playing

No Doubt

Don't Speak

New refurb plans for £400K holiday apartments at former solicitors' office in Morecambe

5-7 Skipton Street in Morecambe was formerly the home of Whiteside and Knowles solicitors

New plans have gone in for a £400,000 holiday apartments development at a former solicitors' office in Morecambe.

The building at 5-7 Skipton Street was home to Whiteside and Knowles, later JWK Solicitors, for many years until the Morecambe office closed in 2020.

In 2021, Lancaster City Council granted planning permission for the office, just off Morecambe seafront, to be converted to seven holiday apartments.

Now new plans have gone in to the council, asking for permission to fully refurbish the building with new dormer extensions and windows, and remove an existing chimney.

A report, publicly available on the Lancaster City Council website, says that owners 978 Group "purchased the property and commenced the conversion works at the start of this year, in-line with the planning approval".

"Their intention is to create a high quality serviced accommodation, and invest in the property and Morecambe for the long term," says the report by Alston and Donnelly Architecture.

"The building has been more closely investigated and some issues found that need to be addressed. Also on closer inspection the approved proposals, do not make best use of the existing building and space available.

"The proposed alterations are intended as an improvement to the original design, resulting in additional usable floor space, better return on investment for our client, and a much improved external appearance and character to the property.

"The proposed alterations are improvements on the original proposals, resulting in a higher quality finish, and increased investment in the historic building. The proposals have negligible affect on the surrounding character of the Conservation Area, and the full refurbishment of the building will lift the appeal of the building and hopefully advocate other property owners to do the same."

978 Group is a property company owned by Simon Das (pictured below), based at White Cross in Lancaster.

Mr Das told Beyond Radio: "We want to do our bit for the regeneration of the area.

"I think they will do well, because of the location.

"We are hoping to collaborate with local artists to create artwork in each apartment, to turn it into more of an attraction, depending on  building costs. We have to make sure we don't stretch the budget too far.

"We are looking for more artists to showcase their work."

Mr Das said his ambition was to create an art trail, with murals on the gable end of buildings he's refurbishing in Morecambe.

The report on 5-7 Skipton Street says that "the majority of the existing timber windows are in poor condition, many with rotten frames, single glazing and no draft proofing".

"It is proposed to carefully remove all windows and replace with new high-quality units.

"It is considered that the dormer will not be easily visible from close proximity, and the view from further down West View Road will have minimal impact.

"Internally the existing apartment designs have been revised to provide improved space, circulation and accommodation. This includes removal of the central chimney breast.

"The existing suspended timber ground floor is to be carefully removed, and reinstated 200mm higher to usable height within the basement. This will have no impact on the exterior of the property, as the existing front door level is to be retained and an internal step introduced."

Lancaster City Council will make a decision on planning permission in due course.

Local artists interested in being involved with the artwork project at 5-7 Skipton Street can contact 978 Company at info@978group.co.uk

More from Local News

Local Business Partners

Recently Played Songs