A CITY centre shop that is unrecognisable from its traditional 19th Century origins could be given a more sympathetic frontage.

Like many units in that area of the city centre, 57 Darley Street is blighted by a modern frontage that gives no hint that the building lies within a Conservation Area.

A planning application has now been submitted to convert the upper three floors of the building into apartments - with one flat on each floor, and to restore the shop front that “follows the principles and proportions of the original Victorian shopfronts along Darley Street.”

The ground floor unit a fireworks shop.

The application has been submitted by Jmail Assets Limited and says: "The current shop front is to be removed, including the thin masonry cladding panels that currently sit to either side of the opening within the existing, original sandstone pilasters defining the extent of the commercial frontage at street level.

"A new shop front will be installed that follows the principles and proportions of the original Victorian shopfronts along Darley Street.

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"Localised repair and replacement, if required, of stone and leadwork will be undertaken as necessary with materials to match the existing building."

The application points out that many buildings on that stretch of Darley Street have been spoiled by unsympathetic shop frontages.

It says: "Ground floor levels have an underlying generous vertical scale that has unfortunately been compromised in many properties through cumulative additions and alterations to commercial shop fronts.

"The impact of poor quality shop front design on the setting of the conservation area is identified in the city centre conservation area appraisal."

A decision on the application is expected next month.