Approved plans to revamp the former Fenwick building in Leicester will still go ahead – despite some parts of the premises subsequently gaining listed status.
Permission was given in May for the new owners of the Market Street building, Aimrok Holdings, to make alterations to the ground floor and basement.
Two sections of the site receiving Grade II listings may impact works – but earlier approved changes will still be completed.
Fenwick exterior at night
Danielle St Pierre, a senior planner for Iceni projects, which works with Aimrok Holdings, said: “The planning application that was made has been approved for the ground and part of the basement floor.
“This cannot be revoked.
“That was done in close consultation with the council.
“It’s already in a conservation area, we’ve had to be quite sensitive.
“I wouldn’t want to comment [on further plans] at the moment.”
Plans were approved on May 13 for a change of use to the ground floor to create four “flexible units” for varying uses.
Also approved were proposals to change part of the basement to create a bar.
Listed Building Consent will now need to be sought, which will allow concerned parties to have their say on the works.
Agencies such as Historic England will be able to comment on the process.
The Grade II listing, announced a few days ago, came following an application by the Leicester branch of the Victorian Society to the Government body Historic England.
The former Fenwick’s Department Store
Two major sections of the building have been recognised, including the original store built in 1880 for Joseph Johnson at 36 Market Street.
The corner block, built in 1883 for Richard Allen, later taken over by Joseph Johnson around 1900 as also included.
Fenwick department store
Both were designed by Leicester architect Isaac Barradale.
Speaking after the announcement, Peter Ellis, joint chairman of Leicester’s Victorian Society, said: “We are delighted by the news.
“Listed status will ensure that any future development will not destroy the character of one of Leicester’s most distinctive buildings.”
Mr Barradale said planned interior changes to the store would in all likelihood not be affected by the Grade II-listed status, given that many alterations to it had taken place over the years.
He said: “Historic England would take a pragmatic view”.
Fenwicks – gone but not forgotten
Fenwick closed in March and the building has since been sold to developer Aimrok Holdings, which had planned to split the basement and ground floors into four retail units, plus a bar, restaurant and gym.
Almost 100 members of staff lost their jobs when the retailer, which owns a chain of department stores across the UK, closed its Leicester branch.
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Aimrok has also said the new development is expected to create 150 jobs during the build and following its completion.
The Leicester Mercury has attempted to contact Aimrok for further comment on the new listed status.