Green light for transformation of the former Ulverston police station

A HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED, new, multi-use destination in the former Ulverston Police Station and Courthouse has been given the green light by the town’s planning committee.

Ulverston and Sunderland based architectural and engineering practice Building Design Northern (BDN) submitted visionary plans to transform the damaged, disused constabulary buildings into a mixed-use destination of commercial space, offices, boutique serviced accommodation and new homes earlier this year.

Members of South Lakeland local area planning committee for Westmorland and Furness Council approved plans at today’s [21st December] planning committee meeting, paving the way for the transformation of the building to gather pace.

Stood vacant since 2015, the former Police Station will house commercial office space, with jail cells reimagined as boutique accommodation. The superintendent’s quarters – the west wing – which was demolished prior to BDN’s acquisition of the site, will house further serviced accommodation, each apartment with its own en-suite and kitchenette space.

BDN will also establish a new North West headquarters in the main police station building, which will include a communal kitchen, meeting room and desk space for the expanding practice.

Three one and two-bedroom dwellings will replace the former MOT garages and stables buildings, with the design centred around communal green and amenity space to foster a sense of community amongst residents.

A single storey extension is proposed to the Courthouse, to create a new restaurant pavilion, with a surrounding courtyard of former garages to be converted into independent commercial space, that is expected to attract a range of local businesses. The upper floor will consist of generous boutique accommodation suites.

Supporting the proposals, Ulverston Civic Society commented that the development will ‘transform the very depressing feel’ the derelict site currently projects, with the report stating, “We feel the quality of design and repairs to be undertaken reverse much of the damage that has been allowed to take place.”

The multi-million project to restore the buildings is being designed and led by BDN. Since launching a Lake District office in 2018, BDN are now one of the North’s most ambitious and dynamic professional services businesses and have recently embarked on ambitious growth plans to expand their Ulverston base.

The firm completed a tasteful regeneration of the former Grade II Listed Simpson Street School in Sunderland in 2021, transforming it into their North East HQ and eight luxury apartments which are operating successfully as an apart-hotel, a success they wish to replicate in Ulverston.

Joe Warner, Director of Architecture and Head of BDN’s Ulverston office, said, “The reaction to our plans earlier this year has been great, so we are pleased to have secured planning permission to bring our proposals to fruition.

We have worked proactively with the planning and conservation team at Westmorland and Furness Council, who have recognised the rigorous design process and the many positives of the scheme. As a team of local residents, we are proud to be pioneering a development which will transform a key Ulverston landmark and are excited to get started to transform the historic site into a destination for the local community to enjoy.”

Work will start on the redevelopment of the site in 2024. Businesses interested in taking space within the development should contact BDN, at or by calling 0191 535 6189.

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