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About Mansfield District Council

Mansfield District Council offers housing, revenues and benefits, waste and recycling, licensing, dog control and environmental services including street cleansing, events and leisure attractions management. It is based in Nottinghamshire, England.

Mansfield District Council Headquarter Location

Civic Centre, Chesterfield Road South, Mansfield

Nottinghamshire, England, NG19 7BH,

United Kingdom

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What's next for 46 'lost' department stores including Debenhams, Woolworths, House of Fraser

Apr 6, 2022

What's next for 46 'lost' department stores including Debenhams, Woolworths, House of Fraser The Departing Stores: Emporia at Risk report highlights the plight of the department stores in the face of changing shopping habits and what is being done to save them The Bobby's building in Bournemouth has given new life to the old department store concept with a community hub including a knitting circle. (Image: Verve Properties) Sign up to FREE email alerts from BusinessLive - Retail & Consumer - all the results, acquisitions and trends every Friday Something went wrong, please try again later.Invalid Email Subscribe We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info Thank you for subscribing!We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Britain’s department stores are in crisis in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and shifting shopping patterns. But there is good news too with restoration projects safeguarding the future of old names including Woolworths, House of Fraser, Debenhams and Fenwicks. The Departing Stores: Emporia at Risk , report argues these cathedrals of commerce should – and can – be rescued and new uses found. Report author Harriet Lloyd showcases 46 of the UK’s most significant department store buildings, from Aberdeen to Eastbourne, detailing their fascinating stories and architectural appeal. In particular, the report sounds the klaxon for 18 which are at serious risk of being permanently lost – while celebrating a further 14 that have been rescued and given new life, demonstrating that viable uses can be found for these precious buildings. She said: “In a new era when large-scale retail is no longer sustainable, these fine structures are at risk of dilapidation or even demolition. And as these hubs of daily life are erased from the map, local communities feel increasingly disenfranchised. Protecting and reviving these buildings is not only a matter of preserving precious and distinctive architecture; it is an opportunity to restore a sense of place.” Read More The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated a move away from high street shopping that was already well underway – with 30% of UK sales now online – causing the collapse of high-profile chains and leaving thousands of shops vacant and at risk. The demise of Debenhams alone left a hole of 1.3 million sq m, with 90% of stores still empty a year later, while a fifth of former BHS outlets were vacant five years after its death. According to the British Retail Consortium and Local Data Company, there were 237 vacant department stores in the UK last summer. In Bournemouth, a former Debenhams has reopened under its original name Bobby’s. Now, it is a retail and workspace hub with a restaurant and art gallery – and space for the local knitting circle. The Departing Stores: Emporia at Risk report documents the future of these 46 'lost' department stores: Esslemont & Macintosh, Aberdeen Category C Listed - Conservation Area - At Risk Peter Esslemont and William Macintosh started out as rivals. However, with typical Victorian business acumen, the two went into partnership moving to bustling Union Street in the 1920s where it traded for almost another century before closing its doors in 2007. The upper floors were approved for hotel use in 2008, but the conversion failed to materialise and the plans were dropped in 2015. The eastern wing was converted to restaurant use on the ground floor in 2018, but the disused upper levels have resulted in a despondent-looking facade with boarded windows. The building seems to have been left largely vacant since the store closed, and has appeared on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland for several years. Beales, Bolton Partly Grade II Listed - Conservation Area - Subdivided for retail When Beales entered administration in January 2020, it left more than twenty stores across the UK at risk. The Bolton store is regarded as one of its most architecturally striking stores and closed its doors in 2016. The ground floor of the mock Tudor building has been taken over by Slater menswear, and that of the faience building is partially occupied by a dessert café. The two buildings stand opposite the Central Street regeneration site, part of a £1.2bn overhaul of the town centre. Developers Placefirst demolished the buildings opposite in late 2021, and work on a build-to-rent housing development is expected to complete in 2023. CGI of what restored Bobby's building in Bournemouth could look like. (Image: Verve Properties) Bobby's, Bournemouth Unlisted - Restored The former Debenhams store has been successfully brought back to life through a new project. The building was once Bobby & Co, opened in 1915. The store shut down as part of the nationwide Debenhams closures in May 2021, but developers Verve Properties have been imaginative in their ideas for keeping the building in active use. Besides retail, the store now houses an art gallery, beauty parlour and Bobby’s, Bournemouth local makers’ market. Later this year a food hall and rooftop terrace bar will open. Several spaces have a social function, hosting knitting meet-ups and children’s entertainers. Verve have also reinstated the Bobby’s name on the facade, removed the modern canopy and restored the copper domes. Read More Grade II Listed - Conservation Area - At Risk Frederick Bright founded his haberdashery in 1871 in Bournemouth’s Arcade, gradually expanding into neighbouring shops over the following decades and eventually extending onto Gervis Place and Old Christchurch Road. House of Fraser closed its doors for good in March 2022 and it is now in a state of some neglect. Under new ownership, plans for the building’s future have not yet been disclosed. Staffords, Brighton Locally Listed - At Risk Brighton’s Western Road has long been a shopping nexus, with a number of stylish art deco edifices springing up after the first world war, fuelling Western Road’s reputation as ‘Oxford Street-by-the-Sea’. Currently the ground floor has been divided into three separate units, and the upper floors appear to remain in use. British Home Stores, Brighton Locally Listed - Restored The former BHS store is another striking product of the post First World War construction boom. The building originally comprised three units, with the other two leased to a hosier and a gown shop until BHS expanded across the whole building in the early 60s. The store was then taken over by C&A Modes in 1970. Later incarnations included Littlewoods (2001-2006) and Primark, which has restored the building to its former glory. Wade's, Brighton Unlisted - Restored This neoclassical shop was built in 1932 for W. J.Wade, a draper who had traded on the site since 1891. .The store remained open until 1979, when it briefly became Owen Owen, and then Primark in 1981. When Primark moved to the former BHS store, New Look took over the premises – but after entering into a CVA in September 2020, the store was permanently closed during the third national lockdown. It’s now one of several new bricks-and-mortar stores for Flannels, the high-end sportswear brand owned by Sports Direct entrepreneur Mike Ashley. Co-operative Departmental Store, Brighton Locally Listed - Partially Demolished Built in 1931, it was then the largest purpose-built department store in Brighton, and was extended in 1962 to create a dedicated supermarket in the face of rising competition.The Brighton Co-op didn’t merge with the Co-operative Wholesale Society until 1994, and the following year the accounting department relocated from these premises to Glasgow. The council rejected an application to demolish the building in 2011, and created a local listing in 2012. In 2013, the entire building except for the facade was demolished to make way for student housing. Palmeira Stores, Brighton Grade II Listed - Conservation Area - Restored Originally built as the Palmeira Hotel in 1863, it was never used as an hotel and was bought and refurbished in 1873 by the Brighton & Hove Co-operative Supply Association. An 1891 catalogue for Palmeira Stores spans an impressive range of departments, from groceries and tobacco to toys and musical instruments, as well as services such as house repairs and horseshoe fitting. The stores ceased trading in 1962, and reopened later that year as a branch of Maple’s, who stayed for another 30 years. Since 2005, it has been operating as a Tesco Express, with flats above. Lewis's, Bristol Unlisted - Partly Refurbished In 1957, Lewis’s ninth branch opened on Bristol’s Horsefair, in a brand new purpose-built store designed by Sir Percy Thomas & Son. The building was taken over by John Lewis in 1980, followed by Bentalls in 1998, who spent £20m on a refurbishment only to leave two years later. After a brief stint as House of Fraser, the building became a Primark in 2008, at that time the largest outside London. Debenhams, Bristol Unlisted - At Risk The steel-framed building was originally constructed for Jones &Co after its original premises was destroyed in the Blitz. It opened in May 1957 to much fanfare. Debenhams took over the site in 1972, and the store was refurbished in the mid 80s. The store ceased trading in May 2021, and the buying process is apparently underway– although it has not yet been confirmed what the new owners intend to do with the building .Bristol’s mayor, Marvin Rees, has met with the buyers to discuss future uses, which he believes should be mixed to ensure the area’s survival. Debenhams, Canterbury Partly Grade II Listed - Conservation Area - At Risk Debenhams closed its doors in Canterbury in January 2020, but until 1973 it was home to local department store Lefevres. The store sprawled across multiple units on Guildhall Street, Sun Yard and Mercery Lane. In the 1990s, Debenhams carried out significant remodelling of the interiors, during which some late medieval painted timber frames were discovered. Redevelopment plans for the Guildhall Quarter, designed by Clague Architects for Chaucer Property Investment Ltd, were greenlit at the start of 2020. The 1920s building was set to reopen as a branch of new department store chain 15:17, which had taken over a number of former department stores in towns across the UK, including Ayr, Worthing and Kirkcaldy. The upper floors were to be converted for residential use, but issues over the excess strain this would place on the waste water system has stalled all work on the building. Howells, Cardiff Grade II* Listed - Conservation Area - Undergoing Redevelopment James Howell opened his drapery store in 1865, moving to the present location on St. Mary Street two years later. The entire 275,000 sq ft building was bought up in 1972 by House of Fraser, who carried out a major refurbishment in 2009. In the years to follow, the building was to change ownership multiple times. It has now been purchased by Thackeray Group which intends to embark on a £100m mixed-use development plan, converting the building to residential, office and hospitality uses. Thackeray has a proven record of reinvigorating heritage buildings, including Cardiff’s Market Chambers and Fairfax House and will be aiming for a carbon net-zero project. Shirers & Lances, Cheltenham Unlisted - Conservation Area - Restored Heralded in the press as “one of the most important business building developments in[Cheltenham’s] history”, this smart Art Deco store was completed in 1935, commissioned for Shirer & Haddon. Furniture business, John Lance, moved in to form Shirers & Lances. The store traded until 1979, and has since been divided into multiple retail units with offices above. Council improvement plans will see a ‘pocket park’ open in front of the building in April. House of Fraser, Chichester Grade II Listed - Conservation Area - At Risk Designed in 1904, the original use was as the Oliver Whitby School which remained on the site until 1950. When department store J. D. Morant was destroyed during the Blitz in January 1941, the business relocated and expanded into the school after it closed in 1950. Morants was acquired by Army & Navy Stores in 1955, itself taken over by House of Fraser in 1973. The store was one of several branches to close in early 2019 after the company went into administration. The site was sold at the end of the year to Interceptor Opportunities Ltd., who have promised to retain an active frontage but are pursuing a mixed-use model. The building has been sitting vacant for almost four years. T J Hughes, Eastbourne Unlisted - Conservation Area - At Risk Completed in 1926 for Dale & Kerley, the business changed hands multiple times before being taken over by Barker’s in the 1950s, then House of Fraser and Army & Navy before the final takeover by TJ Hughes. The building has been vacant since the store closed in May 2019. Plans have now been submitted by investors Capreon, who intend to create a ‘landmark’ building which will mean the demolition of the the existing building. Debenhams, Guildford Non-designated Heritage Asset - Conservation Area - At Risk Construction began on this building in 1963 for department store chain Plummer Roddis. By the time the store opened in 1968, Debenhams had bought up the company, eventually rebranding in 1974. The store’s location in the Millmead and Portsmouth Road Conservation Area has traditionally limited Debenhams from modifying the building too extensively. However, following its closure in 2021, new owners Native Land have lodged an application to demolish the site and build two predominantly residential blocks alongside a landscaped riverside section, which is to be renamed St Mary’s Wharf. Debenhams, Harrogate Unlisted - Conservation Area - At Risk Harrogate’s Debenhams was originally designed for draper William Buckley. The store changed hands multiple times, notably to Busby’s in 1953, then to Debenhams in 1958. The site’s owners have now submitted plans for full demolition. Morgan and Squire, Leicester Unlisted - Conservation Area - Restored Leicester’s branch of the popular Rackham’s chain began life as a drapery named Morgan &Squire. .The store passed through many different hands in the latter half of the 20th century, including Swears & Wells, J J Allen, and House of Fraser, which rebranded this branch as Rackhams in the 70s. It closed in 1990 and has since been subdivided into retail, hospitality and office units, with student accommodation above. Leicester's historic Fenwick building Grade II Listed - Conservation Area - Restored Isaac Barradale was one of Leicester’s most prominent architects, designing commercial buildings around the city including two of his finest, formerly occupied by Fenwick. Grade II Listed - Undergoing Redevelopment The first of the Lewis's empire, this store was once home to a rooftop garden populated with parrots and monkeys and had its own private railway side to allow direct transfer of goods to the store. Much was destroyed during the Blitz and the new building was constructed 1948-56. The business was bought by another department store chain, Owen Owen, in 1992 . However the company went into administration in 2007, and the building was bought up by Merepark who had intentions to redevelop the site. The store ceased trading in 2010, but Merepark’s plans fell by the wayside and the property changed hands again in 2017. Current owners Augur are redeveloping the site as The Circus, which includes retail, residential units, hotel and gym. G. H. Lee and BonMarché, Liverpool Unlisted - At Risk In 1878, Lewis opened a second department store in Liverpool, the Bon Marché. Aimed at a wealthy clientele with goods imported from France, Germany and Italy, the store had the first Christmas grotto with mechanical peacocks and talking dolls from Paris. .Neighbouring the Bon Marché building was once George Henry Lee’s store. Lee’s was bought up by Selfridges in 1919, later sold to the John Lewis Partnership in 1940. BonMarché was also acquired by John Lewis in 1961 and the two neighbouring stores were merged under the G. H. Lee name. The store was rebranded as John Lewis in 2002, but only a year later the company agreed to relocate as part of the Liverpool ONE scheme. The G. H. Lee and Bon Marché buildings closed in 2008, and were split into individual retail units with varying success, and some parts remain empty. Developers Niboco put forward a new application in early 2019 for a hotel, nightclub and casino, which was approved – however, the building was put on the market by freeholder Legal & General a few months later. Compton House, Liverpool Grade II Listed - Restored Compton House may be the oldest purpose built department store building in the country built in 1832 offering outfitting, cabinet-making and fabrics for sale. Their original premises were burnt down in an arson attack by a disgruntled former employee ,but the resplendent five-storey building standing today went up in a matter of years, opening in 1867. The building reopened as the Compton Hotel in 1873 and by 1928 the premises were returned to retail use by Marks & Spencer. The store is still trading there today, and in 2009 a large-scale renovation took place to revive disused parts of the building. Littlewoods, Liverpool Unlisted - Still Trading The former Littlewoods store was built 1951-55 to replace the original premises that had been bombed during the war. .Littlewoods left the building in the early 2000s after a buy-out from Primark, who began trading there in 2007. Owen Owen, Liverpool Unlisted - Undergoing Redevelopment Owen Owen was eight years old when he started work in his uncle's drapery store. In 1868, at the age of 20, he opened his own store on Liverpool’s London Road before moving to Clayton Square. The store opened in 1925 sporting all mod-cons, including automatic sprinklers, six customer lifts, and, on the top floor, a refrigerated storeroom where customers could keep their fur coats safe over the summer months. The company continued to flourish for many years but in 1995 the Liverpool branch closed for good, and was until recently partially occupied by a Tesco Metro. Sports Direct owner and head of Fraser Group, Mike Ashley, has announced plans to revive the whole building. opening a flagship store for his luxury brand Flannels. Blackler’s, Liverpool Unlisted - At Risk The art deco block spanning most of Great Charlotte Street in Liverpool was once the fine Blackler’s store. The original store was badly damaged during the Blitz, until this minimalist structure was completed in 1953. The store closed for good in 1988. Currently, the ground floor of the building is divided amongst multiple pubs but the upper floors appear to be vacant. T J Hughes, Liverpool Unlisted - At Risk Constructed around 1910 for Owen Owen, it went on to be occupied by Thomas J. Hughes who was a former Owen Owen apprentice. .For now, TJ Hughes continues to trade in Audley House, but the company is reportedly looking for a more central site. In late 2021, a planning application was submitted to convert the building for residential use, with promises to retain much of the external fabric. Woolworths, Liverpool Unlisted - Redeveloped This entrance to the Liverpool ONE retail and leisure complex is built on the site of the first Woolworths store to open in the UK. The opening day in November 1909 attracted more than 60,000 customers. By 1920 the company had opened 90 stores across the UK and were desperate to expand their Liverpool flagship which was built in 1921 opposite the original store. The store eventually closed in 1983, but it has remained in retail use. In the 2000s, the ground floor was subdivided into individual retail units and the entrance was formed into an arcade leading into the shopping complex. Whiteleys, London Grade II Listed - Conservation Area - Undergoing Redevelopment Believed to be London’s first department store, this store opened in 1911 after a series of fires at an earlier store, believed to be caused by disgruntled associates of the owner. Further extensions were made in 1925-27, at which point the store was bought by Harry Gordon Selfridge Throughout the 20th century, parts of the store were gradually siphoned off for office use, before the building was converted into a shopping centre in 1989. The building is now the subject of a £1.25bn overhaul by Foster + Partners for owners Meyer Bergman. The retail space will be reduced by 65%,replaced by luxury and affordable housing, cafés and restaurants, a cinema, members’ club, spa and hotel. M & S Marble Arch, London Unlisted - Set to be demolished Amid multiple large store closures on Oxford Street in 2021, this building was unexpectedly placed under threat when M&S announced intentions to demolish the store and rebuild with a mix of retail and leasable office space, restricting the shop space to just two and a half floors of a nine-storey building. The plans have been approved by Westminster City Council. Arding & Hobbs, London Grade II Listed - Undergoing Redevelopment The former Arding & Hobbs department store, most recently traded as Debenhams. The company was established onWandsworth High Street in 1867, opening their third – and what was to be their flagship – store in the present location in 1884. However these premises were destroyed in a large fire just before Christmas in 1909 and rebuilt the following year. The store passed through several hands in the following decades: United Drapery Stores, Allders and, finally, Debenhams. The building was bought in 2018 by W. Real Estate Ltd. After the collapse of Debenhams last year, plans were submitted for conversion to office space on the upper floors, and subdivided retail units on the ground and basement levels. Planning permission was granted in April 2021 and work is now underway. Pauldens, Manchester Grade II Listed - Conservation Area - Undergoing Redevelopment Pauldens’ premises appeared in many guises after its establishment in the 1860s eventually settling in its permanent home in 1959 - the Rylands Building by Piccadilly Gardens. In 1973,the store name was rebranded as Debenhams, who had bought up the business in 1928. Since the company went into administration in December 2020, the building’s owners AM Alpha have successfully submitted proposals for a £68.5m refurbishment for office conversion and arcade of individual retailers on the ground floor. Lewis’s, Manchester Unlisted - Partially Restored As one of the few retailers apparently still able to withstand the pressures of the high street, Primark occupies a considerable number of former department stores. The Manchester branch is housed in the old Lewis’s building, which opened in 1880. Extensions begun in 1926 more than doubling the site’s previous size. The store finally ceased trading in 2001, at which point Primark moved in. Kendals, Manchester Grade II Listed - Conservation Area - Undergoing Redevelopment The roots of the business can be traced back to 1796, when John Watts founded a ladies’ outfitters on Deansgate. Forty years later, three senior employees, Kendal, Milne and Faulkner, bought out the business and expanded to an additional site across the road. Busines sboomed, and by the turn of the century the store was employing over 900 members of staff. In 1919 the store was bought up by Harrods, but after protests from staff and shoppers the Kendals name was retained. This continued long after House of Fraser took over in 1959, and is still how most locals refer to it even after it was officially rebranded in 2005. In summer 2021 owners Investec received planning approval to convert the building into Grade A office space and retail to be retained on the ground floor. Building had been expected to get underway in early 2022, however issues such as labour shortages have now pushed this back by a year. In the meantime, House of Fraser are continuing to trade on a six month rolling lease. The Manchester Co-Operative Estate, Manchester Grade II Listed (except Federation House) - Partly within Conservation Area - Undergoing Redevelopment The Co-operative Wholesale Society was founded in Manchester in 1863. By 1867, the society was thriving, with “too much in the bank”. In urgent need of more warehouse space, the company bought up the land between Balloon Street and Garden Street, near Manchester Victoria station. Construction of an enormous CWS building was completed in 1869. This building has since been replaced, but as the society flourished, its Manchester footprint grew. The Co-operative Group are now backing a huge regeneration scheme, rebranding the area as NOMA (NorthManchester). It includes their recently built HQ at One Angel Square (2013) , alongside several other historic Co-op buildings which are being renovated for various new uses including office space, exhibitions and theatre. Mansfield & Sutton Co-operative Society Unlisted - Conservation Area - To Be Restored The former Mansfield & Sutton Cooperative Society building was in use as a Beales store until administrators were appointed in early 2020. Mansfield District Council purchased the site in early 2022, with intentions to use the premises as its new headquarters. A town regeneration ‘masterplan’ announced in late 2021 proposes to introduce a mix of uses, including residential, student accommodation and office space –alongside retail – across this and fifteen other buildings in the town centre. The council has also received government funding to formulate a design code for the project, fostering a unified local vernacular across the redevelopment. Co-operative Stores, Newcastle Grade II Listed - Conservation Area - Restored The building, which operated as a Co-op from its grand opening in 1932 until 2011, was recently the subject of a five year, £17m refurbishment by Interserve Construction Ltd using traditional techniques and uncovering some original hidden features. The building is now home to an insulated, fully modernised Premier Inn hotel. Griffin & Spalding, Nottingham Unlisted - Conservation Area - At Risk The former Griffin & Spalding store is an iconic feature of the city’s historic centre. Appearing in many different incarnations over the years, the company had traded on the site since 1846 when it was founded by two brothers, Edward and Robert Dickinson. They later went into partnership with a colleague, Edward Fazakerley, and it wasn’t until 1878 that W. Griffin and J. T. Spalding, both of whom had previously worked in department stores in London ,purchased the majority of the business. The store was bought up by Debenhams in 1944, but wasn’t renamed until the nationwide rebranding in 1973. It finally closed its doors in May 2021 and no future plans have been announced. Jessop & Son, Nottingham Grade II Listed - Conservation Area - Restored Built in 1895 for Zebedee Jessop, the store was sold in 1933 to John Lewis, making it the first store the company managed outside of London. Extensive refurbishment of the King Street premises, now known as Fothergill House, was completed in 2018. The building has been converted to office use on the upper floors with restaurant units on the ground floor. Woolworths, Nottingham Grade II Listed - Conservation Area - Undergoing Redevelopment Nottingham’s first Woolworths store opened on Lister Gate in 1914. Following the business’ rapidexpansion across the country, the store was extended and refronted in 1936-7. The building was occupied by an M&SHome store until its closure in Summer 2020. However, the council have just granted the building’s owners, Hunter UK Retail Limited Partnership, permission to convert the property to student accommodation, with two retail units on the ground floor. The plans indicate partial demolition of the interiors and a new extension at the back of the building. The frontage will be preserved. Co-operative House, Nottingham Unlisted - Conservation Area - Restored Nottingham’s former Cooperative store was built between 1915 and 1916. The top floor was once home to a silver service restaurant, the Elizabethan Ballroom, which doubled as an events space by night and saw The Beatles play alongside Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1963. The Co-op ceased trading here in 2001 and in 2009 the building was restored by Henry Boot Developments and converted to a mix of office, residential and commercial uses, including a casino and restaurants. Boots, Nottingham Grade II* Listed - Conservation Area - Restored This flagship Boots was the ‘central depot’ constructed in 1902-5 in an ornate renaissance revival style. This store included a café, picture gallery, smoking room and ‘Boots Book lovers Library’, and in the 1960s it still boasted departments for pets, toys, gardening, records, jewellery, leather goods and winemaking .Boots left the premises in 1972, and the interiors have been altered at various stages most recently by CPMG Architects for Zara in 2002. The art nouveau windows – the only surviving examples on any former Boots store –lend the store a distinctive appearance. Boyes, Scarborough Unlisted - Still Trading This is home to the original Boyes; a department store offering cu tprice goods which now runs more than 60 stores across the country. It has remained a family business for nearly 150 years, and is remarkable for being one of the few buildings on this list that is has traded continuously under the same name. Boyes was founded in 1881 by William Boyes, selling remnants from merchants. As with its contemporaries, the store was no stranger to pulling unusual publicity stunts. For a short while, monkeys Jacko and Dinah were familiar to shoppers. The present building opened in 1916 after the previous premises burnt down. Debenhams, Staines Unlisted - At Risk Originally the trading premises for department store Morford & Goodman, the business was taken over during WWII by Kennards of Croydon and the current building was constructed between 1956 and 1962. The store later became a Debenhams and was formally closed in 2020, Spelthorne Borough Council has ididentifed the site as a preferred development opportunity, earmarking it for a potential 250housing units. New owners Future High Street Living Ltd. have now lodged an application for total demolition of the site in favour of two new 14-storey tower blocks. Debenhams, Taunton Unlisted - At Risk This building has been a fixture of the high street since 1939, when it opened as department store W. & A. Chapman. The company had been going since 1864, when two brothers from London opened an “unpretentious little shop” on Taunton’s North Street. the building was extended in1959 after the company was taken over by Debenhams. In 2020, developers Ropemaker Properties proposed to demolish the existing site and replace it with a mixed-use building housing 92 flats and smaller shop units at street level. Refurbishment of the existing site was apparently considered at an early stage, but was judged to be economically unviable. The application has now been lodged with Somerset West and Taunton Council. Read More Locally listed - Conservation Area - Undergoing Redevelopment The flagship store and head offices of the Beatties chain closed its doors in 2019. It was here that James Beattie began his empire with a draper’s shop in 1877 .The entire complex was locally listed in 2000 and is identified as a landmark building within the City Centre conservation area, but has no national listing. The Beatties chain was taken over by House of Fraser in 2005, but in 2020 Frasers Group head Mike Ashley announced the store would be moving in to the Mander Centre,r eplacing the Debenhams unit. The Beatties building was bought earlier that year for £3m by London firm SSYS Beatties – afar cry from the £69m it sold for in 2005. The council has now approved SYSS’ application to convert the building to over 300 flats and ground-floor shops, retaining the historic facades but adding an additional storey. How to stay up to date with our retail news We cover all the latest retail news with journalists based in the regions - you can read our retail news here . To stay up to date with us you can: Sign up to our newsletters Following us on Linkedin

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