Various options have been explored by DMA. Credit: Pendle Council

Trafalgar House revamp rubber-stamped

The front portion of the landmark Nelson building is to be retained, with vehicle charging and parking developed to the rear.

A report to Pendle Council’s policy and resources committee meeting outlined the various options explored for Trafalgar House by consultant David Morley Architects, with the £2.13m part-redevelopment the preferred option.

Other shortlisted options included the refurbishment of the full building into six townhouses and an apartment, along with a commercial unit; a similar scheme with a new build element behind; and the insertion of an electric vehicle charging hub behind the retained Market Street frontage.

Each of these has been rejected for the preferred option, with the gap funding for the residential-led schemes thought to be prohibitive.

The preferred scheme retains the existing building and its features looking onto Market Street. The building will have a retail/commercial space at ground floor, with the possibility of an apartment above. At the rear the plan is to install 13 EV charging points and 15 car parking spaces, including two spaces reserved for disabled drivers.

Initial market testing has been undertaken and an operator has confirmed interest in acquiring car parking spaces for EV charging points, Pendle said.

This operator would, it said, consider a 15-20 year lease, and will provide all necessary equipment and maintain the space, with a revenue-share being a possibility.

Pendle acquired the striking but derelict Trafalgar House in December 2020, using accelerated Town Deal funding.

Originally housing Nelson Technical School, it was later occupied by Nelson & Colne College and Lancashire County Council.

As the council report outlines: “Trafalgar House has lain empty for well over 10 years and has severely deteriorated as a result of a lack of maintenance, break-ins, theft of slate and stone and external and internal vandalism.

“The building has attracted a significant amount of anti-social behaviour and is a source of blight to the adjacent town centre properties and neighbouring businesses.”

Public consultation this summer found that respondents were keen to see the front building retained, with a widespread acceptance that removing the rear building may be necessary.

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