New future proposed for The Stew

A new plan to preserve and develop a Shrewsbury building has been revealed.

Gallery Design and Developments has submitted proposals to breathe new life into The Stew in Frankwell with a ground floor spa, coffee shop, office space and garages, with seven residential apartments on the upper floors.

The proposed refurbishment would retain an estimated 75 per cent of the existing fabric of the derelict building. The plans include an additional floor with a newly designed floating gutter free roof. There is also an extension proposed for the eastern façade of the building to have the least impact on the existing skyline.

The design has been drawn up by Shrewsbury’s Base Architecture & Design.

Gareth Leese from Gallery Design said: “We are determined to give The Stew a new lease of life that will support the continued development of Frankwell. 

“The building has a complex planning history but we believe this new proposal will address concerns by retaining its individual character whilst creating an innovative and sustainable building for the future that is economically viable and will bring jobs and people to the area.”

Three requests have been made to English Heritage by other organisations to award listed status to The Stew but all have been rejected*. 

Managing Director of Base Carl Huntley said the new plan would use the fabric of the building that remains for a sympathetic yet inventive preservation. 

“We can actually see The Stew from outside our offices so it has been a privilege to develop this proposal. As it stands The Stew is having a negative impact on the conservation area and, without any intervention, it will not survive.

“Frankwell is one of the gateway’s to the town centre and, with The Stew sitting between the contemporary theatre and university buildings, it is fitting that the proposal takes cues from the bold designs already in place.

“The proposed extension along the eastern façade of the building will restore the volume and mass of the building as it existed throughout the 20th century. Architecturally, careful thought has been given to the size, integration and detail of this proposal. This viable scheme looks to breathe life back into a derelict building that has stood still for far too long.”
Chair of the Shropshire Business Board, Mandy Thorn, said the proposed scheme would bring a valuable commercial boost to the area.

“With a spa, coffee shop and offices, it will draw people to the Frankwell area and that can only be a positive move. Its location on the riverside and by a major car park would encourage more people to explore the area.

“Individual schemes like this back up the on-going economic wellbeing of our county town and should be welcomed.”

* An excerpt from the latest English Heritage report: “Although it (the house) retains its early-C18 character and proportions, alterations to the house have resulted in the loss of its windows and doors and changes to most of the openings, and these have had a detrimental impact on its architectural integrity and compromised the architectural interest. The attached industrial ranges are functional and lack architectural distinction.”