Retrofit scheme repurposes locally listed building as mixed use scheme with 125 new homes

Ash Sakula Architects has received planning permission for the conversion of the former of Beales Department Store in Peterborough. The mixed-use scheme includes 125 new homes.

The development aims to rejuvenate the city centre, providing high-quality public spaces, preserving the city’s historic core, and bringing new life to active shop fronts, aligning with the vision of a walkable and liveable city.

Following the closure of Beales Department Store in 2020, the owners sought viable alternatives for the site. Ash Sakula responded with a proposal that focuses on creating city centre housing and enhancing the public realm.

The scheme aims to breathe new life into the historic building, integrating it into a mixed-use residential development that includes flexible retail, a café, and workspace, totaling 846 sqm.

Located within the City Centre Conservation Area, the building is locally listed. The project will include private gardens leading to pocket parks and a playground.

The mixed-use scheme comprises four main elements. Westgate House Range incorporates a collection of Victorian buildings with active frontage on the ground floor, housing cafes and workspaces. The upper storeys will be refurbished to create new residential units. 

A new six-story structure will house 28 deck access apartments, an existing warehouse block will be converted into 12 apartments, and another building will create two street frontages, accommodating 36 apartments, and a communal roof terrace accessed through polygonal lanterns. This will include ground-floor retail space along the main Westgate shopping frontage.

Cany Ash, a partner at Ash Sakula, said, “There’s something for everyone in this development. This shows how reusing a characterful yet challenging building can become a catalyst for the future of this historic quarter of Peterborough.”

Ash Sakula Architects are also currently working on another complex site in Bedford, where they are partnering with the building owners and the local Council to reimagine two former department stores.