211A-211F High Street Elgin is a redevelopment of 6 townhouses that have been vacant for over 10 years. The properties are Category B & C listed and form a diminishing range of gabled buildings. The site is located within the outstanding conservation area, as identified in the Moray Local Development Plan 2015, and contributes to the medieval herringbone layout that characterises it.
Planning permission and listed building consent were approved for the redevelopment works which has ensured that 6 properties on the Buildings at Risk Register can now be removed from the list. The proposed works conserve and invest in a historic built environment resource whose future was in doubt and jeopardised by continued lack of use and therefore maintenance.
The development involved minimal changes to the exterior façade of the buildings fronting onto the lane. Existing windows were retained where possible and any replacements made to match the existing in terms of detailing. New conservation velux windows and slate vents were introduced to comply with current building standards and a lean to at the end of the terrace was removed and replaced with a new bin store with timber linings. Internally alterations were limited to decoration; stripping and replacing plasterboard, new insulation measures, kitchens and bathrooms. 2 properties were extended into roof space to create more living accommodation.
Supporting StatementWorking in collaboration with the developer to identify a viable use and regeneration strategy for the 6 vacant properties complies with aims of a recent conservation area appraisal of Elgin High Street that identified a lack of residential uses within the conservation area. Ensuring occupancy has wider benefits in that buildings in use tend to be better looked after and maintained.
Prior to the application being made Moray Council Planning Department, Economic Regeneration (CARS) and Building Control had detailed discussions with Robertsons Properties to establish the scope of works proposed and how this would ensure that the special architectural interest and character of the listed buildings and wider conservation area was preserved. The Council and Robertsons worked together throughout the planning process to create a redevelopment scheme that would create inviting places for people to live while still retaining the original character of the properties and established street pattern.
From start to finish the process of identifying the vacant buildings, obtaining grant funding from the Scottish Government and CARS scheme to completion and occupation of the buildings took less than a year (July 2016 –February 2017).
The development demonstrates that collaborative working can produce well considered high quality development within the historic environment and that this partnership approach can be successfully replicated on other projects.