Plans to restore historic Stansted landmark back on the table

PLANS to breathe new life into a run-down Stansted landmark are back on the table.

Local residents Karl and Sarah Foster bought two prominent but dilapidated Victorian houses at 1 and 3 Silver Street – including the former antiques shop at Linden House – over a year ago with a view to turning them into a stylish hotel and restaurant complex.

Original plans were thrown out in May because of concerns over road safety, traffic congestion and access issues.

However, an application for change of use for the premises has been resubmitted to Uttlesford District Council and Mr and Mrs Foster believe that those issues have been addressed this time around.

“We have spent a lot of money and time [since May] trying to get this right,” said Mrs Foster. “There will now be no parking on site, except for disabled parking, and we have worked closely with the environmental health department, Essex Highways and planning officers at the district council to come up with solutions to the delivery access and traffic reservations.”

The couple’s aim is to turn the timber-framed properties into a hotel complex boasting 10 luxury en suite bedrooms, a lounge bar and restaurant open to the public serving traditional English cuisine.

The gardens to the front and rear will accommodate al fresco diners in the summer months.

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All of the historic character of the buildings will be restored and works have already commenced on the refurbishment and repairs of the roof and windows to prevent further damage over the winter months.

“They are run-down buildings but with enormous character which really mean something to Stansted,” said Mrs Foster, who pointed out that the project has been met with strong support from residents, businesses and the parish council.

“There is a real buzz in the village about what we are trying to achieve. We are aiming to entice people from around the country to come here, have a nice meal and stay over while also offering high-end dining for local residents – it would bring a whole new feel to Stansted.”

The change of use application will be determined by the district council on February 9.

n ARE you a fan of the plans? E-mail us at editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk

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