THE premises gutted by fire last year that had been the home of Peacocks for a generation is for sale.
M&P Property Consultants is advising that the freehold of the property, as a development site, following extensive fire damage is on the market with an asking price of £395,000.
The site has been cleared of debris, a planning consent has been secured to build a new shop with ancillary upper parts, and a structural engineer’s report is available.
The shop is approximately 7,500 sq ft ( 696.8 sq m).
The sales pitch describes Monmouth as a thriving market town “with a loyal catchment and a strong tourist trade”.
The town’s retail offer is anchored by retailers including Waitrose, M&S, and Boots. The subject property is located within the town’s prime retail pitch, adjacent to Superdrug and Greggs, and opposite WH Smith.”
In May 2022, Over 40 fire crews were called to tackle the fire in Monnow Street.
The emergency services were scrambled to Monnow Street at 9.20am on Monday May 23, after a fire had broken out in the Peacocks retail store.
Fire engines from both sides of the border were deployed to what was described as “a large, well-developed fire”, in a bid to prevent it from spreading into neighbouring buildings.The fire took several hours to contain, finally being extinguished just after 5pm.
Crews from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service remained on the scene overnight and well into the next day, to keep the fire extinguished and carry out an investigation.
A spokesperson for the fire service confirmed that the suspected cause of the blaze was “an accidental ignition”.
The shops either side were affected with Superdrug closed for three weeks. It was understood that Peacocks offered jobs to the staff at other stores and were hoping to keep a presence in the town at a later date.
The shop, now covered by scaffolding, has remained closed ever since with the building badly damaged but plans to redevelop it were approved by Monmouthshire County Council’s planning department.
The application was submitted by Swanston Holdings.
A condition of the permission requires the building to be used for Class A1 uses only - retail shops - which the council says “retains the vitality and viability of the town centre”.
The application was for the erection of a “replacement retail building”.
Council planning officer Jo Draper said the building that was left unusable due to fire damage was “essentially a modern replica” but was still considered to make a “particularly positive contribution to the character and importance of Monmouth Town Conservation Area” due to its scale with a “Victorian form of three projecting bays and shopfront below”.
The plan was to reinstate the ground floor retail unit and the remaining front elevation, badly damaged by the fire, will be removed and replicated, with the rendered walls, pitched slate roof and all existing openings, including the timber shopfront, recreated.
The former ground floor will be rebuilt to provide retail space.
At the back of the shop facing Monnow Keep, the previous fire-damaged extensions will be replaced with a single storey extension.
Previous plans for a two storey extension with windows, that would have overlooked neighbouring homes, have been dropped.
The planning officer’s report stated: “The replacement scheme to the rear of the building represents a positive improvement in terms of local amenity due to the improvement in design making it a more visually attractive building to look directly onto and a significant reduction in scale and mass.”
The council’s conservation officer had no concerns as rebuilding the front of the building almost identically will “preserve the special interest” of it and neighbouring buildings in the conservation area.
The Peacocks website says that the store is “temporarily closed until further notice”.
Planning officer Jo Draper said: “The building has been so fire damaged in 2022, there is no option to retain the damaged interiors which have been almost entirely cleared from site for safety and blight reasons; and nonetheless were likely modern.”