Restoration plans at Alnwick Youth Hostel receive approval

Further plans for the restoration of buildings at Alnwick Youth Hostel on Green Batt have been approved.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 3:26 am
Alnwick Youth Hostel. Picture c/o Google Streetview

A planning application seeking permission to repair two outhouses and carry out structural remedial work to the sandstone rear wall of the courtyard has been approved by Northumberland County Council.

Planning officer Jon Sharp, advising approval using delegated powers, reported: ‘The proposal is of an appropriate design and represents an appropriate form of development that would not have a significant adverse impact on the street scene or the amenity of nearby residents.’

Building conservation officer Ian McCaffery added: ‘We support the proposed scheme that has been designed with advice from a structural engineer. It allows the wall to remain in place without the need for significant demolition.’

There were no objections from local residents or statutory consultees.

A report submitted with the application revealed the outbuildings are in urgent need of repair.

It is proposed to convert the main outhouse into a cycle hub for guests. It has recently had a new roof installed, restored with slate. and a different internal wooden supporting frame to improve headroom.

The two storeys would be retained, and the ground floor would be stone. The upper storey will have a new wooden floor and a new wooden staircase. The bottom floor will remain stone, but a bike tool station will be bolted to the floor. The walls will be insulated and strapped for bike racks to be attached to the walls.

The smaller outhouse is leaning on the courtyard wall and is pushing it outwards. The courtyard wall cannot be demolished due to its listed status and the fact that it supports the adjoining outhouse and is attached to the dining room of the main building. It is proposed to build a buttress to support the wall and a new roof.

The property is the former House of Correction of Alnwick and former courthouse and police station, in use as such from 1807 until the new police station was built in mid-20th century.