A landmark gateway site in Longton, significant to Stoke-on-Trent’s ceramics heritage, has received planning approval for re-development into attractive town centre homes.
A Stoke-on-Trent City Council Planning Committee on 29 June approved plans submitted by developer OVI Homes for the Crown Works site. This gives the go-ahead for 58 one and two bedroom apartments for the over 55s including a communal lounge and landscaped courtyard space for resident use.
The plans recognise the site’s significance to earthenware ceramic production since the late 18th century as the former Crown Works, later becoming JohnTams Ltd. The character is being retained by incorporating some of the existing facade as well as new build that reflects original design features such as gable rooves and brick-built construction.
As part of the design process, OVI Homes listened to comments from local heritage groups and Stoke-on-Trent City Council Planning department, incorporating some of the design features and for density to be more in keeping with the original building and its location.
This is a significant development for Longton as a corner feature at a prominent gateway location. The quality of the design will provide visual interest and bring new life to a vacant site that had become an eyesore for the town. The development will contribute to the distinctiveness of place and with other ongoing conservation area investment will showcase the potential of Longton, helping to attract new investment as well as boost local pride.
The council is investing in heritage-led regeneration, recognising the potential of our historic towns and revitalising their former glory. Bringing people into the town centres will help support existing and new businesses.
Councillor Duncan Walker, Cabinet Member for Planning, Climate Change & Regeneration at Stoke-on-Trent City Council said:
“Planning approval is a giant step to a project becoming a reality and we’re excited to see the transformation of this landmark site and the positive impact for Longton.
“OVI Homes is committed to making a difference in Stoke-on-Trent and with clever design they have been able to balance the need for modern, safe and attractive homes whist not losing sight of historic significance and local identity.
“Despite the added complexity, restoring our heritage is worthwhile for the character of places and local pride, helping to attract further investment.”
OVI Homes Director Jon Flowerdew, said:
“OVI has worked tirelessly to breathe new life into this exciting regeneration prospect. Full planning approval offers a huge boost to our ambitious development plans for 2023/2024, and our long-standing commitment to the Crown Works site in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent is an incredibly positive and exciting part of that investment.
“The Crown Works development will transform the gateway to Longton and we have taken time and care to understand the specific challenges on site and the surrounding area to find a sensitive but contemporary building and landscape design.
“Our collaborative approach complements complex public and private regeneration, and the highly positive planning response allows us to begin to build a lasting and productive relationship with the Stoke-on-Trent Council team and local stakeholders across the city on a broad range of projects for the future”.
With planning approval and hoardings in place, work on the transformation of this key site will start this summer. There will be local employment, apprenticeships and work placement opportunities throughout the build. OVI is also keen to inform and involve the community and is working with local community organisation Urban Wilderness to identify opportunities.