Richard Dawson, chartered architect based in Bingley, West Yorkshire, providing architectural services and project management.

From derelict shop units to new retail premises and two self contained flats

Location: Units 5 and 7, Kingsway, Bingley, West Yorkshire

The new shop and flats, October 2011

The new shop and flats, October 2011

Brief:  These two storey 1930s mid terrace units were in a  very poor and dangerous state (see photos below). Located on a prominent site on Kingsway, close to the Bingley by pass,  they had become a problem for the local community after being abandoned and left derelict for around two years.  The client bought the premises in 2009 and commissioned R Dawson Architect to carry out a feasibility study into making the units suitable for rent or sale.


Solution:  R Dawson Architect provided architectural services for design, planning and building control approvals and coordinated the design team including Structural Engineer, Health and Safety Coordinator, Party Wall Assessor and Energy Assessor on a design and build basis.

The building was in a very poor condition and needed to be completely rebuilt between party walls.  The original brickwork shell had a few steel beams but little internal structure, no ground floor or central party wall and the flat roof was propped up from the partially constructed first floor.  The existing services were inadequate, left exposed and the site was dangerous.

Discussions between the planning department, client and R Dawson Architect agreed a workable solution to extend and alter the existing premises to form two self contained new flats (60sqm each) and retain the two ground floor retail units.  The front walls above the shops were retained but the rear walls had to be partially rebuilt.  The outbuildings were extended to form a rear secure well lit entrance for a utility room, pram and coats.  Richard Dawson worked closely with the builder Stuart Currie.

The available space at first floor level after thermal upgrading was limited and a decision was taken to add a new second floor to give better space standards within the flats.  It was created from ‘lightweight’ structurally insulated panels or SIPs, from Clays of Skipton, and clad with low maintenance materials. The SIPs were erected in two days and formed a kitchen/dining and lounge area with access to a patio and panoramic views over Bingley.

The retail units were designed as two units but constructed as one for a tenant.  Each retail area is approximately 36sqm with an accessible WC

Externally, a new rear parking area with new paths, timber fences, bin storage (for flats and shops) with landscaping were provided.   At the front, an accessible entrance to the retail units was formed, suitable for wheelchair users, with a new ramp, steps and landing with handrails.

R Dawson Architect liaised with the Energy Assessor Award Energy to maximise the thermal performance of the building from ‘G’ (very poor) to a high ‘C’ which means reduced energy bills.  Low water use appliances were specified throughout to keep water bills low.  Sound testing was carried out between walls and floors and across the party wall to ensure sound insulation standards had been met.

The derelict premises at Kingsway, before reconstruction

The derelict premises at Kingsway, Bingley, before redevelopment

The derelict premises before it got transformed into a shop and two flats

The derelict, dangerous premises before transformation into a shop and two flats