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Flats conversion could save derelict Regent bar in Clevedon

By The Bristol Post  |  Posted: October 23, 2012

  • The Regent before it shut in 2005

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A derelict former bar in a prestigious Clevedon shopping area could be converted into apartments and shops as part of a £5 million development.

The Regent in Hill Road has lain vacant for several years and has fallen into a state of disrepair.

Masonry has started to fall from the walls after years of being battered by the elements and the inside of the building is in a poor state.

Now the firm behind a scheme to redevelop the former Royal Pier Hotel into luxury flats – Bristol based Freemantle Developments – has struck a deal with the owner of The Regent, Mark Hiscox, to breathe new life into the Victorian building.

The pair have been working on plans to convert the five-story former inn, built in 1857 into apartments with about 5,000 sq ft of retail space.

Plans to turn the building into apartments with shops at street level were approved several years ago, but the permission has now lapsed.

A new planning application for the redevelopment has now been submitted to North Somerset Council.

The plans include 15 two-bedroom flats and five one-bedroom flats with two shop units on the ground and lower ground floors.

The main building, which lies in a conservation area, would be retained and restored.

Extensions would be put on both sides and at the rear of the building and a parking area created at the back of the development with 20 spaces.

There plans also include a cycle parking area for 20 bikes.

The Regent was built in 1857 by local businessman, baker and confectioner John Maynard.

The shop at the front of the building was originally a bakery but was later used as a delicatessen.

By the 1880s the Regent had become an inn and restaurant and later became a hotel.

It then became a bar and a restaurant before closing in 2005.

The development has been designed by O‘Leary Goss, the architects firm which drew up the plans for the Royal Pier Hotel apartments.

Chief architect Robert O‘Leary said: “We propose to restore The Regent building to its former glory, retaining the shop unit and the lovely shop front at street level.

“The new additions will complement the Victorian building, using Bath stone for the facades to Hill Road and maintaining the vertical rhythm of the streetscape. The Regent was a popular and much loved building in Clevedon. The plans so far have been well received and we have spoken with Clevedon Civic Society, the town council and North Somerset Council planning and conservation officers.”

If planning approval is granted work on the development could start in the spring and take about 18 months to complete.

Businesses along Hill Road have welcomed the news and said the development would additional businesses and customers.

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