Historic ‘at-risk’ building set to be saved under social housing plan
Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter
A “crumbling” Grade II listed Victorian surgery, recently listed as one of the most at-risk buildings in the UK, looks set to be saved under new proposals.
Anglesey Council has unveiled plans to transform Holyhead’s Grade-II listed Plas Alltran into social housing.
Built by Arthur Baker in 1890 as the town’s first purpose built doctor’s surgery, it subsequently served a variety of purposes including rented housing, a classrooms for a girls’ training institute, district nurse accommodation and boarding house.
But having stood empty since the 1970’s, in September it was listed on the Victorian Society’s top 10 UK endangered buildings list, describing Plas Alltran as “empty and crumbling.”
The society went on to say, “The owner, based in South Korea, has no known plans for it.
“Funding is desperately needed to give this unusual building a sustainable future.
“The small local authority is struggling to fund even the necessary urgent works to prevent further deterioration.”
The building, still in private ownership for the time being, is subject to ongoing talks with hopes that the purchase can be completed by the end of March thanks to Welsh Government support.
Head of housing, Ned Michael, told the Local Democracy Service: “After many months of hard work and on-going negotiations with the owners, we’re delighted to be in a position to submit a planning application for consideration for Plas Alltran.”
“We hope that the project – if realised – will allow us to redevelop this unique property into affordable, residential units, which are much needed in the town of Holyhead.”
He added, “Our empty homes team continues to work closely with many empty property owners in communities across the Island, in an attempt to bring as many as possible back into use.”
According to the planning documents, submitted by the authority itself, it is proposed to renovate the interior and provide four self-contained flats as social housing, one bedroom each for “affordable rent.”
They conclude, “Developing this vision is not only beneficial to both the social and architectural history of the town, but also addresses distinct social housing need too.
“Our main objective is to save this important building that has been in a dilapidated state for some time.”
As a result, separate applications have been submitted for both the change of use and listed building consent, due to its Grade II status.
As the application has been submitted by the authority itself, its expected that Anglesey Council’s Planning Committee will consider the plans over the coming months.