PLANS have been submitted to turn a historic area of Gloucester into a car showroom.
Tanners’ Hall in Worcester Street was a medieval townhouse built in the 13th century as the home of a merchant. It represents the only surviving remains of a stone medieval merchant’s house in Gloucester.
For many years, it has stood desolate, surrounded by weeds, but planning permission has been granted to turn it into 14 flats and a retail unit.
Yet it failed to sell at almost £395,000 and later failed to sell at auction, despite £150,000 being knocked off the price tag.
Now, GL1 Car Sales, which already operates from the site, has submitted a planning application to Gloucester City Council for a change of use of the building and part of the rear yard for the sale and display of motor vehicles.
In the application, Ismail Munawer, of GL1 Car Sales, said: “The existing structure on the site has historically been used as a garage and the first identified use on the planning record would appear to be for a covered car display building with open front in 1968.
“The motor trade appears to be the only consistent viable use and any potential alternative tenant is likely to be in the motor trade – something which Worcester Street and Kingsholm Road has traditionally been associated with.
“The continuation for the historic use as car sales would ensure the site is secure, maintained and free from scrub and undergrowth which has threatened the structure of the monument.”
The expansion of GL1 Cars and the fact that there are close to 50 dealerships in Gloucester is a clear indication that the city is a hub for the used car trade.
Tom Ridge, of Bristol Road Cars, said: “Bristol Road is renowned as one of the biggest trading roads in the county. People travel from all over to Gloucester to buy a reasonably priced car. It is the place to be.”
However, a member of staff at Gloucester Cars, in Bristol Road, said there are too many used car dealerships in the city.