Work Commences on Redevelopment of Headingley Historic Gem

Work has commenced at 19 Shire Oak Road, Headingley following the granting of planning for conversion to 6 cottages. The building, although in use until its sale in 2012, had fallen into disrepair and the work required to redevelop it to provide 21st century amenities whilst retaining many historic features is significant. Our experience in working on listed and heritage buildings has enabled us to assist our client in making a number of decisions to ensure a successful project. Works include the restoration of a number of features added by renowned Leeds architect George Corson, the complete reconfiguration of the internal space to provide 6 cottages of character, the demolition and rebuilding of a large extension incorporating steelworks, the removal of a large bay window, the restoration of black and white timber detailing and some structural alterations. Four of the 6 cottages have already been sold ‘off plan’.

The project has attracted a lot of attention from local residents who were concerned about the future of the site. Very early on we entered into open dialogue with the residents in close proximity, holding meetings with them to discuss the scheme and talk through any concerns they may have had. Our approach has ensured full support for the scheme and we continue to liaise closely with residents.

19 Shire Oak Road has an interesting history. Records suggest there has been a building on the site of the former College of Music since the early 14th Century. Over the years it has had some famous owners including Thomas Cranmer, the Earls of Cardigan and renowned Leeds architect, George Corson, who added some of his own touches to the building. Around 1940 the house was bought by famous soprano Madame Lilian Stiles-Allen who gave singing coaching lessons to a select few. Her most notable student was Julie Andrews, who mentions the house in her memoirs. Madame Stiles-Allen donated the house to the Yorkshire College of Music and Drama in 1964 when they lost their premises, and it remained in use by the College until its sale in 2012, by which time it had sadly fallen into very poor condition.

Work is progressing to programme and will complete in May.

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