Student flats plan for Lancaster carpet shop

Balshaws Carpet Shop in Thurnham Street
Balshaws Carpet Shop in Thurnham Street
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Plans to create student accommodation in a 300-year-old carpet shop in Lancaster have been submitted to the city council.

Back2base Properties Ltd, based at The Old Court House in Clark Street, Morecambe, has applied to convert Balshaws Carpets, in Thurnham Street, into a 13 bed student unit over four floors.

The plans include two studios at ground floor, a four bed cluster unit on the first floor and a seven bed cluster unit on the second and third floors of the Grade II Listed building.

The creation of a third floor level will require the installation of roof windows in the rear roof slope, the application has stated.

Access to the upper floors would be via an existing external staircase at the back of the building.

Balshaw Carpets, which started trading from the building in 1994, is due to move to different premises in the city.

It is understood the building is up for sale subject to planning.

According to the applicants design and heritage statement, the building was originally built as a domestic residence for Viscount Fauconberg in the 1700s.

Between 1832 and 1906 it was used as the Lancaster Dispensary.

It was then used as part of the Royal Hotel.

In the 1960s the building was occupied by Lancaster City Council and then the premises were vacant until it became Balshaws Carpets.

The plans also include the refurbishment of original sash windows, as well as external doors, and improvements to the stone walls of the building.

The building is connected to The Royal Hotel, and sits opposite Lancaster Town Hall.