Submitted by Editor on Thu, 27/05/2021 - 09:17


The mysterious depths of 38 Queen Street are explained in plans associated with a proposal to convert part of the ground floor at H&T Pawnbrokers into a two-bedroom flat (21/02806/LBC).

Amazing and unguessed at safes, windowless corridors, and private appointment rooms come to light. As does a dim world of basement stores from which, we imagine, there would be no escape in the wrong sort of Hammer Horror unpleasantness.

Queen St


Plans have been submitted to refurbish and subdivide the empty Category B-listed warehouse at 1 Gayfield Square (class 6 storage) as a multi-use building (classes 3 on-site food/drink sale/consumption; 4 office, R&D, non-detrimental industry; 10 non-residential).

Agent Andrew Megginson Architecture represents community poverty prevention and relief charity SAFE here. It outlines a project to upgrade internal masonry walls, concrete floor, and exposed joist ceiling. New (removable) internal stud partitions will partition the property for hot desking, a café, and an events, conference and training space (21/02574/FUL).

‘There will also be more specifically business areas for SAFE to operate along with an artificial interactive training suite. The flexible central space, which can be opened or closed with concertina doors, can also accommodate anything from yoga classes or meetings to presentations and any kind of vocational training.’

Gayfield Sq

Plans show a café, VR and XR suites (whatever that means), a training area, office, loos and break-out area. A CCTV room follows (presumably for interactive training) with a windowless ‘secure room’ attached.

External changes to the property are intended to restore stonework, upgrade windows, and, in design terms, unify the currently scrambled appearance of the building. Steel doors will replace timber ones.

‘Overall, the proposals will bring a vacant listed building containing a large amount of potential into active use that will secure its ability to function for years to come. The proposals will be sympathetic to the property and will be beneficial to the surrounding area providing a much more attractive street frontage and use to the neighbourhood.’

Readers with good memories may recall a previous application in 2013 to establish a restaurant here. Nothing came of it, nor of our hopes for a musical maître d’ with specialist legal skills.


The owner of a ground-floor, main-door, tenemental flat at 41 Barony Street seeks planning permission to change its use from residential to short-term commercial visitor accommodation (21/02615/FUL).

Barony St

Access to the 2-bedroom (4-person) property is exclusively through the front door.

Although a box ticked on the application form suggests that work has not yet started and/or been completed, a separate planning statement submitted in support of the proposal makes clear that the property already operates intermittently as an STL. It is not obvious to us for how long this situation has continued or whether the anomaly matters in planning terms.


Dublin St Lane

A fresh-air loving New Town proprietor wants to add an additional roof terrace and new unheated aluminium conservatory to the roof of 1A Dublin Street Lane South (21/02701/FUL).

Heritage purists, planning experts, and overlooked neighbours will all have their own opinions. To Spurtle, however, it is reminiscent of Admiral Boom’s house in Disney’s Mary Poppins, and the engaging oddity of the proposed spiral staircase simply makes us laugh.

We hope for regular cannon fire at 8am and 6pm sharp.