Quirky holiday let plans lodged for Northumberland ice cream kiosk

Plans have been lodged to turn an ice cream kiosk into a quirky holiday let.

Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 4:45 pm

An application seeking permission for a change of use of the Loovre on Bankhill in Berwick has been made by local resident Hugo Hughes.

The Grade II listed building was built in 1899 as a ladies lavatory.

The plans indicate no changes to the scale of the property but it is proposed to add a bathroom. Windows would also be reinstated.

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The Loovre on Bankhill, Berwick.

A report with the application states: ‘The property was in recent decades a council store and fell into disrepair. It was acquired by Berwick Preservation Trust, restored and repurposed to become a rental unit.

‘The unit has traded on and off as an ice cream parlour since then. It is in this use that it has acquired the name, The Loovre.

‘The premises is currently operating this season to ensure the building is kept in use.

‘The business is highly weather dependent and in its current use there is very limited profit. The current use is not considered sustainable either by the applicant or by renting to a third party.

‘Berwick is a growing tourist destination and many of the positive developments within the walled town have sprung from the growth of this industry.

‘Availability of self-contained holiday lets in the area, except static caravans, is however limited.

‘It is considered that the proposed change of use to a self-contained holiday let unit will provide a sustainable future for the property whilst also benefiting the local economy.’

The applicant assumes the repurposing of the building for use as a council store resulted in the original toilet stalls, water closets and associated sinks and other apparatus being removed.

The new use, if approved, would retain the name, The Loovre, Bankhill.

Berwick Town Council’s planning committee has made no objection in principle but members noted that it is the unique character of this building that lends itself to conversion, from retail to residential use, and that it should not set a precedent for future applications of this nature within the town centre.

A final decision will be taken by Northumberland County Council.

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