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KEY BUILDINGS AT RISK IN NEWPORT

Lawns Club Kensington Grove Eveswell

Newport City Council has invited expressions of interest from suitably experienced developers for the purchase of this property which the Council proposes to acquire through a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for a nominal sum.

The building is an Italianate villa erected in 1870. Formerly known as ‘The Lawns Club’ is listed grade 2 and is situated at the heart of the mainly residential Kensington Place Conservation Area, set in grounds of approximately two thirds of an acre.

The Council is looking for the restoration of the building which would be suitable for sympathetic restoration and conversion to residential (C2/C3), Office (B1) or clinic (D2) use.

Unfortunately, since listing, the building has been severely damaged by fire and subsequently neglected. As such, it features on the Council’s Register of Buildings at Risk and is subject to a Repairs Notice requiring restoration to its former state. Two planning applications in 2014 submitted by S Mahmmod  envisaged the building of two houses on the site. The Council's eventual decision in May 2016 refused the applications after an attempt to establish more detail regarding the plans.

 

Westgate Hotel City Centre

Possibly Newport's most iconic building the Westgate Hotel is a Grade II listed Victorian hotel in the city centre, whose name and site is famous as the scene of the 1839 Chartist riot, also called the Newport Rising. It is located at the bottom of Stow Hill fronting Commercial Street. Its rehabilitation as part of city's life is urgent and necessary whether its as a hotel, a university building, digital space or Chartist museum the Westgate hotel must come back in to use as a matter of priority.

After the demolition of the original West city gate of the city of Newport, the site was reclaimed and a hotel constructed.

On 4 November 1839 local politician and activist John Frost led a march of 3000 Chartists into the centre of Newport.
In 1884, the original hotel was demolished, and the present structure constructed. Designed by local architect E.A. Lansdowne, it incorporated six shops at ground floor level to increase the sites rental income, and placed a new five storey hotel on top, which was twice the floor size of the hotel it replaced, and included the provision of an ornate ballroom. Built by local builder John Linton, it was leased from its opening in 1886 to Samuel Dean of the Castle Hotel for twenty one years.

In recent times the Hotel has become a bar and entertainment complex before its eventual closure. It was advertised for sale in 2017 but failed to reach a guide price of  £1.5 - £1.75 million (it failed to reach £2.1 million in 2016).

Jones the Planner stated in his 2012 article "The epicentre of Newport is the Westgate Hotel (rebuilt in the 1890s), the scene of the doomed Chartist uprising of 1839. This was crushed by the military leaving 22 dead. Here five streets converge in a very impressive and coherent ensemble of buildings from Newport’s turn of the century belle époque. Commercial Street, an immensely long straight continuation of High Street, leads eventually to the Transporter Bridge. The buildings although not individually particularly noteworthy display that fin de siècle confidence and scale which is such a characteristic of Newport. There is strong vertical emphasis and a rhythm of gables rather reminiscent of Belgium towns; diversity of styles within fundamental rules.

The Maltings, just off the SDR bridge

A devastating fire in 2005 ripped off most of the roof of the former maltings building leading to calls for its urgent redevelopment. The building was erected in 1898 by Phillips & Son brewers who operated a brewery in Lower Dock Street. It is sited on the former Penner and Tilley Wharves and includes malt kilns and storage areas.

Newport Unlimited envisaged that part of the building could form the centre piece of regeneration scheme. Other parts of Old Town Dock have been significantly developed but the Maltings has yet to so much as a ground breaking ceremony.

As far as we know the site is still on sale with Hutchings and Thomas.