A BUILDING formerly used as a Carlisle nursery school could be revamped if plans receive the go ahead from councillors.

In plans submitted to Carlisle City Council, a vision to transform the historic building at Abbey Street back into a house was unveiled.

The building’s current use is as a day nursery, Abbey Children’s Day Nursery. The property is a typical town house of the era but flanked by two more modern commercial terraced properties.

The applicant, Alex Palmer, expressed a belief that the revamp of the site would reflect the changing nature of Carlisle’s city centre.

He stated in the application: “It is of some social interest to observe that an original family town house having changed to take advantage of commercial pressures should, in 2021 with significant de-centralisation of retail and commercial activity, be proposed to return to its original purpose.”

The historic property has had a varied past which the applicant also outlined in planning documents submitted to the council.

“The majority of the southern terrace fronting Abbey Street are original 18th century and 19th century two- and three-storey properties reflecting a [high-end] residential status of the area within the City Wall between the Cathedral and Castle during that period.”

The building at No 8 Abbey Street has followed this pattern of commerciality in what was a busy retail and administrative area adjacent to the Caldewgate main thoroughfare throughout its past, Mr Palmer describes.

He stated: “As local council and administrative office needs expanded in the city in the early 19th Century, this area saw numerous conversions of large domestic properties into office use.

“As the threat of invasion from Scotland receded, residents moved out of the city to take up more spacious accommodation in the newly developed suburbs to the north and east of the city centre.”

In this vein, the applicant also states that the change in use would be concurrent with similar developments that have taken place in and around the immediate Abbey Street area in recent times, stating: “This application reflects a recent trend of significant de-commercialisation of the area. 36-38 Abbey Street, formerly solicitors, have returned to residential use, a walkers hostel and flats respectively.”

He added: “32 Abbey Street, formerly solicitors has returned to a single dwelling, and the shop at 24 Abbey Street is now a flat so the proposal aligns with both the current trend and policy.”