Express & Star

More than 300 apartments set to be created at Wolverhampton's Beatties store

Historic department store was sold for £3 million last year.

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A CGI mock-up of how Beatties will look with new levels at the top of the building. Photo: SSYS Beatties Limited

More than 300 apartments are set to be created at Wolverhampton's landmark Beatties building and car park under plans submitted to council chiefs.

Plans drawn up by SSYS Beatties Limited will see a total of 306 homes created at the famous store and car park after it was sold off last year.

It will see the upper part of the building at the rear converted into the apartments whilst the lower part will be kept for retail purposes, if backed.

Additional residential floors will be built on the existing building but the shop frontage will be retained and restored, planners have said.

A CGI mock-up of new levels to the building viewed from Skinner Street. Photo: SSYS Beatties Limited

The official proposals have now been lodged after a residential development at the iconic department store was exclusively revealed by the Express & Star in October.

A spokesman for SSYS said: "We have been impressed with the city council on their positive and pragmatic approach to development in the city centre.

"We were proud to support the council’s application for the Government’s Future High Street Fund and are confident that the city centre will evolve to provide a vibrant and relevant spaces for local residents and businesses.

"We are further proud to partner with the city and the local people in regenerating the Beatties building, which was once a flagship shopping store and will hopefully once again become an iconic part of the city comprising pf residential, leisure, shopping and commercial space.

"We hope that our proposals will be received positively and provide a springboard for a successful and prosperous new year for all of the residents and businesses in the city."

Drawings of how Beatties will look if the proposals are backed. Photo: SYSS Beatties Limited

Planning chiefs at Wolverhampton Council are expected to receive by Spring this year, with planners describing the proposals to transform Beatties as "ambitious but achievable".

Councillor Stephen Simkins, cabinet member for city economy, said: "It is great news that a planning application has been submitted to bring back to life this iconic building at the very heart of our city centre.

“We will continue to work with the owners to ensure a suitable scheme is brought forward as quickly as possible that will deliver new homes and jobs and fits with how we are re-imagining our city centre to increase footfall through urban living.

“The application demonstrates that confidence to invest in Wolverhampton remains high and projects such as this are critical to relighting our city in our recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The historic frontage will remain. Photo: SYSS Beatties Limited

The Victorian building was bought for £3 million last year and sources at the time told the Express & Star the historic building could be converted into apartments.

It came after high street giant House of Fraser announced it would leave its Beatties home for the Mander Centre and form part of a new Frasers store in the city.

The famous Beatties name has been synonymous with Wolverhampton since the shop was launched by James Beattie in 1877.

It was taken over by House of Fraser in 2005 but the Beatties name remained on the building and many shoppers continued to refer to it under its historic name.