Claire House and James House are two office buildings located at the corner of Bridge Street and opposite the entrance to Minchin Close, overlooking the River Mole. The site benefits from a fantastic south-facing orientation overlooking the river and the town bridge which in turn acts as a gateway to Leatherhead from the south west. The site was marketed for sale and Mole Valley District Council acquired it in 2015 as part of its then emerging strategy to transform Leatherhead town centre. The Transform Leatherhead team recognised that the Claire House and James House site formed a unique opportunity for an exciting high-quality mixed use development, with the potential to unlock an under-utilised area of natural beauty along the riverside and close to the town centre.
In 2016, the Transform Leatherhead Masterplan was formally adopted. The Masterplan identified a number of core areas for significant regeneration within the town centre. One of these areas was identified in the Masterplan as the ‘Riverside Quarter’, comprising the river frontage at the bottom of Bridge Street and the surrounding buildings including Claire House and James House.
Public consultations, market research and expert advice all played an important part in creating the Masterplan vision for Leatherhead town centre:
“Friendly vibrant and lively, Leatherhead is a modern market town where people of all ages can shop, eat, relax and have fun by the riverside”.
Outline planning proposal
The proposal is to demolish the existing outdated Claire House and James House office buildings and replace them with a high quality design building which respects and sits harmoniously with the existing heritage assets.
The proposed replacement scheme will be predominantly residential with 40 units at upper floor levels along with associated public realm improvements, servicing, residential car parking spaces and reconfiguration of existing public pay and display car park. There will be community (D2) and commercial (A3) use on the ground floor which we anticipate will include a café or restaurant to provide opportunities for a riverside destination.
The outline planning application also includes initial concepts and ideas for the creation of a Riverside Park. The development of the wider Riverside Park will be delivered as a second phase of the Riverside Quarter regeneration, after the Claire House and James House development is completed. However, we demonstrate our commitment to this second phase of the redevelopment of the Riverside Quarter within the outline planning application.