ONE of Sawbridgeworth’s most prominent landmark buildings is to be returned to residential use.
Built in the 16th century, the historic Market House was originally a residence with an attached maltings running down Bell Street, but most recently was used as a 10-bedroom hotel, restaurant and bar until its closure in 2010.
The Grade II* listed building on the corner of Knight Street, which had been allowed to fall into poor condition following years of neglect, was last year snapped up by Harlow-based KP Property Developments Ltd for £700,000 and will now be transformed into six new homes after winning approval from East Herts District Council.
Its refurbishment, alteration and conversion will provide one three-bedroom house in the west wing and five one-, two- and three-bedroom self-contained flats.
Six new ground floor rear windows will be installed, the external rear staircase will be replaced and the small 20th century extension at the back demolished. The scheme also includes the relocation of the access gates and associated private amenity space, landscaping and car parking.
KP Property Developments Ltd has said the subdivision will result in very little alteration to the main fabric of the Market House, with most of the work relating to the restoration and repair of the building.
Its design and access statement, submitted to EHDC as part of its planning application, said: “It has long been accepted that the best use to which a historic building can be put is that for which it was originally designed.”
All historic features will be retained, it stated, adding: “All proposed internal and external works have been designed to ensure the historic integrity of the building. Matching materials and finishes will be used throughout and replacement of any parts of the main timber frame will be kept to a minimum.”
It continued: “The envisaged alterations to the listed building will ensure its preservation and future use as a residence providing a variety of accommodation.”