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We have achieved planning, listed building and scheduled monument consent for the conversion of the former Bury Magistrates Courts to apartments and duplexes. The building stands on the edge of the Cathedral Churchyard and near St Mary’s Church in a sensitive and highly protected part of the town. This former government building was recently listed at the time it was being marketed for sale. A court has occupied the site since the late 16th Century and the complex contains sections from around 1750 and 1906. This made the conversion to residential use particularly complex. Balancing the need to retain historic fabric and to create high-quality properties in a building that was created for a very different and specialist purpose was a real challenge. The Courts are large open spaces and other facilities such as prison cells presented significant challenges to convert.

Productive discussions with the Planning Authority and local stakeholders meant that when the application was submitted it was almost universally supported. This included support for removing the rear section of the 1906 part of the building to provide light into the apartments and to create balconies to provide outside space. The alterations to the car park were particularly sensitive as it is built on the Abbey Outer Precinct Wall which is a scheduled monument.

On this project we worked with Bury Developments who are a respected local developer, and Soup Architects who are a highly regarded architectural practice. We were delighted to be involved with such an important project that brings this important building back into a long-term viable use.