New lease of life for empty building?

The empty building in North Street.
The empty building in North Street.

Plans have been submitted to breathe new life into an empty shop and restaurant in Ripon.

The three-storey building, in North Street, is currently unoccupied but previously housed a shop and flat, as well as a Chinese restaurant and takeaway, which has expressed an interest in re-opening.

Developers want to keep the ground floor commercial unit and relocate the takeaway into a purpose-built two-storey building at the back of the property, with access from Booths carpark, in an attempt to improve the shop window display.

They are also proposing to convert the rest of the building into six two-bedroom flats. Two private courtyards, one of which would be used for parking, would also be created.

The plans, which have been submitted by Becky Robinson Developments, say: “The owners have been struggling to achieve a good and continued use for the building, especially the shop, which has continued to find lasting tenants and has suffered from long periods of vacancy in between. Now with the demise of the Hong Kong Chinese restaurant and takeaway and little chance of re-letting the space to a similar use, primarily due to the building’s poor layout, access, and positioning, has led the owners to consider how the building and site can be improved to provide a better use.”

The proposal says creating flats will mean more of the building is used, ensuring it is properly maintained and an “asset to the area”, and the new dedicated takeaway building will enable the reopening of the “much-missed” Chinese.

It adds: “Due to the minimal number of external changes to the existing building there is no impact on the appearance of the area or nearby listed buildings or heritage assets.”