Green light for Lapwing Lane office

Approval has been secured for the replacement of the lodge building at the former Withington Town Hall by a two-storey office.

The Town’s Yard application and accompanying listed building consent were approved this week by Manchester City Council.

Space Architecture + Planning, acting for applicant Pabla & Pabla Solicitors, applied to demolish the former gate lodge building south of the grade two-listed former Withington Town Hall.

Now known as the Old Town Hall, West Didsbury, the main building is occupied by Pabla & Pabla, which intends to use the new space itself. Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture has advised on heritage issues.

The 567 sq ft bungalow had been extended and refurbished in the 1990s but has in recent years lain empty. The redevelopment project involves the removal of two parking spaces, reducing the total on site to 13, while the new building will offer 4,218 sq ft.

Built in the 1880s, the building was originally constructed as offices for the local board of health. It sits within the Albert Park conservation area, close to the junction with Palatine Road.

The building set to be demolished was a lodge for the Town’s Yard, rather than the main town hall building, and thus is considered to be a curtilage-listed structure.

Space said in planning documents that the lodge might formerly have been a stable, but that “the former Gate Lodge, as it exists today, has no evidential value as it has largely been rebuilt, has no aesthetic value as it appears to be largely modern in construction due to the modern windows, roof and porch, and has no-to-low historic or communal values”.

David Lawless, senior planner at MCC, said in his heritage assessment that any harm “would be minimised by an appropriately designed replacement development of high design quality”.

Lapwing Visual 2

How the new building will look next to the listed Old Town Hall. Credit: planning documents

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