Iconic Staffordshire Co-op shopfront saved from demolition

The front of the former Co-op Department Store in Gaolgate Street Stafford
-Credit: (Image: Stafford Borough Council)

Stafford Borough Council has put forward plans to demolish most of an iconic former town centre shop. The frontage of the former Co-Op Department Store in Gaolgate Street is set to be retained - but the structure behind is set to be pulled down as part of the proposals.

The authority agreed to buy the Stafford town centre building, which has been derelict for many years, last year. Plans for the transformation of the site include a food court, retail, market and living space.

A supporting letter submitted as part of the demolition application said: "The demolition works include the vast majority of the building whilst retaining the façade on Gaolgate Street, to preserve the character of the high street. The former Co-op Department Store has been vacant for over 10 years and has recently been subject to fire damage.

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"Stafford Borough Council have since acquired the building and have instructed the redevelopment of the site to comprise a mix of residential and commercial space. This will be subject to a full planning application, expected in Q3 2024."

In recent weeks the Gaolgate Street frontage has been given a facelift, giving details of some of the other investment taking place in Stafford town centre. Major projects include regenerating the former Guildhall Shopping Centre site, transformation of the area around Stafford Railway Station and the recent renovation of Market Square.

Deputy council leader Rob Kenney, who has responsibility for town centres, said: “Stafford town centre was the number one issue for local people and that is why it is our top priority. We have already had a handful of businesses get in touch with us, having seen the proposals for the old Co-op store, to express an interest and asking for more information.

"We are really pleased as they are the type of traders - for example artisan producers - that we are keen to attract as our market offer in the empty building. We want residents to be proud of their county town, we want visitors to come and shop, we want people to socialise and spend time using hospitality venues, and we want businesses to invest.”

Below are other planning applications published or validated by Stafford Borough Council in recent days

24/39262/HOU: Proposed single storey extensions to side / rear to form open living area and bedroom with en-suite to ground floor together with new boundary wall and pergola at 2 Millennium Way, Stone, ST15 8ZQ

24/39270/OHL: Replace three span of open wire conductor with bunched ABC conductor totalling 100m and replace four poles and their supporting stay wires if required at L/A Garshall Green Lane, Garshall Green

24/39251/FUL: Removal of existing shopfront and installation of replacement shopfront at 51 - 52 Greengate Street, Stafford, ST16 2SR

24/39243/DCLB : Discharge of conditon 3,5,6,7 and 8 on 23/37986/LBC at The Coach House, The Rocks, Standon, ST21 6RN

24/39235/NDEM: Proposed demolition of the former Co-op Department Store, Gaolgate Street, Stafford

24/39236/LDC: Continued use of land as ancillary/incidental to the host dwellinghouse, including as a domestic garden at Brookhouse Farm, Wheatlow Brooks Road, Milwich, ST18 0EW

24/39241/HOU: Proposed rear extension comprising kitchen/family/bath and utility room front porch and pitched roof to garage and internal alterations at 30 Victoria Way, Stafford, ST17 0NU

24/39230/HOU: Small rear extension for a shower at 82 Station Road, Stone, ST15 8ES

24/39223/HOU: Single storey rear extension and alteration at 24 Granville Terrace, Stone, ST15 8DF

24/39226/HOU: Proposed single storey rear and side extension at 12 Russell Street, Castletown, Stafford, ST16 2DU

24/39209/HOU: Proposed single storey side extension at 100 Bagots Oak, Highfields, Stafford, ST17 9SB

24/39203/FUL: Change of use of a public house to a nine bed HMO (house in multiple occupation), including replacement front door, new escape door and a new window at Hop Pole, 22 Sandon Road, Stafford, ST16 3ES

24/39188/LDCPP: Lawful Development Certificate - proposed construction of a new outbuilding/garden room pod that will be used as an outdoor sitting room at 1 Manor Farm Road, Little Haywood, ST18 0NW

24/39154/COU: Change of use from guesthouse (C1) to dwellinghouse (C3) ancillary to the main dwelling at Chestnut Farm, Windmill Hill, Rough Close, ST3 7PJ

24/39136/HOU: Proposed new off road parking to front of property including new dropped kerb and the addition of fencing at 66 Mount Road, Stone, ST15 8LJ

24/39130/LDC: To confirm material commencement on application 21/34300/REM (three two storey dwellings) on land adjacent Salt Works Farm, Salt Works Lane, Weston

24/39078/HOU: Single storey garage connection and conversion to include new doors and windows to front of garage at 23 Lapwing Place, Doxey, ST16 1FX

24/38966/FUL: Proposed single storey rear extension to extend function room and provide terrace over. Proposed two storey front extension to create new entrance and increase provision of existing sanitary facilities and provide ladies changing area and committee room. Proposed elevational treatments and outdoor seating area with pergola and new fencing at Barlaston Cricket Club, Malthouse Lane, Barlaston, ST12 9AJ

24/38965/FUL: Ground Mounted PV (Solar) Panels at Fernhill Farm, Fernhill Road, Sutton, TF10 8DJ

24/38872/HOU: Two storey rear extension. Remove existing side extension and outbuilding at 95 Lichfield Road, Stafford, ST17 4LP

24/38866/HOU: Demolition of conservatory and pergola. Two storey side and rear extension and associated minor landscape works at Gorse Bank House, Sandy Lane, Cranberry, ST21 6SF

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