THE birthplace of a noted Cheshire literary figure and political activist is set to be turned into apartments.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has rubber-stamped an application to transform Fraser House on Bridge Lane in Frodsham into seven flats. A separate planning application is also under consideration to build three dwellings to the rear of the site.

The locally listed former office building is notable for being the birthplace of Harriet Shaw Weaver, a famous literary figure and supporter of women’s rights.

Born in 1876, she became a fierce advocate for gender equality, a member of the Labour and later Communist parties. She was well-regarded in literary circles too, having helped establish the career of highly influential Irish writer James Joyce.

A total of seven neighbour objections were received to the plans, ranging from fears over increased traffic to ‘insufficient local infrastructure’. A further comment was received on behalf of Frodsham History Society, stating that the frontage of the building should be preserved and that reference to its history should be incorporated into the development.

A report to the planning department said the only alterations being proposed to the frontage of the property are roof lights, meaning its significance when viewed from the highway would be preserved. It added that the proposed alterations to the side and rear of the property are ‘minor’ and are not considered to have a significant adverse impact on the appearance of the building.

In conclusion, the report said: “Subject to the recommended conditions, and taking into account all material planning considerations, it is considered that the proposed development accords with the relevant provisions of the development plan.

“The local planning authority has sought to work with the applicant in a positive and proactive way to secure a development that will improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of the area, in line with the neighbourhood development plan.”