THE first floor of a landmark Salisbury building – dubbed a ‘flamboyant example of Victorian Domestic Revival’ – could be converted into flats, if plans are approved.
Llewellyn Harker Architects, on behalf of Quantum Salisbury Centre, has applied for permission to convert the first floor of Cross Keys House into two flats.
The Grade II listed building, which sits in the Salisbury conservation area, is part of the Cross Keys Shopping Centre.
The proposed flats matching the footprint of the two commercial units below, with the layouts altered using studded walls.
“The original Cross Keys House was built in 1878-9 as Pickney’s Bank and is perhaps best described by Pevsner; ‘a flamboyant example of Victorian Domestic Revival’,” the application said.
“Despite its listed status, extensive work was carried out in the 1970s that retained the north and west elevations and completely replaced the interior with a new concrete frame.
“As a result, there is no historic plan form or fabric to the interior and the only areas of remaining historic fabric are located in the exterior elevations, which has inevitably considerably affected the significance of the listed building.”
Each proposed flat would have two entrances, from Queen Street and from the car park, the plans said.
The windows would be repaired and some replaced to allow natural light into the property, as currently in some places, it is impossible to see out.
The application went on: “This arrangement may have been considered acceptable in the 1970s as retail storage or perhaps even office accommodation, but this arrangement is not compatible with modern office standards or residential use, which compromises the continued viable use of the building.”
It said ‘considerable harm’ was done to the building during work in the 1970s, introducing an ‘entirely new structure’ behind the retained facade.
The changes, the application argues, have enabled the prolonged use of the building, as would the proposals for the new flats.
“In the context of the 1970s facade retention and subsequent alterations, it is considered that the facade has the capacity to accommodate the level of change that would be incurred by the proposed scheme without causing harm to the appearance and character of the listed buildings or the conservation area setting.”
For more details, and to comment on the plans, log on to www.wiltshire.gov.uk and search for application reference PL/2023/06576.