Apartment plans above former bank get green light – as councillor warns ‘deficient’ planning policies need updating
Plans to convert disused town centre office space into new apartments have been the go ahead.
The application for the upper floors of the Nationwide branch on High Street, were backed unanimously by planning committee members last night.
Proposals for the building were submitted in November 2020 after the company relocated to a larger unit on Regent Street at the start of last year. Since then the property has stood empty.
As part of the plans for the building was proposed that the upper floors are converted into six flats whilst the ground floor is retained for commercial use.
A representative speaking on behalf of the applicants said the redevelopment “will breathe new life into the building” and help “increase footfall, which will be vital to supporting the town centre’s recovery once that emerges from the current lockdown restrictions.”
Concerns had been raised prior to the meeting around bin storage, parking provision and the lack of toilet facilities on the ground floor.
Cllr Marc Jones, who represents the Grosvenor ward, said he was pleased that a “waste management plan” would be implemented prior to the development started.
However he added that whilst he welcomes these plans, going forward Wrexham Council “needs to get its act together in terms of deciding what sort of urban living it wants in our town centre” and suggested councillors play more of a role in setting standards for the size of apartments and amenity space rather than “accepting piecemeal applications”.
Cllr Alun Jenkins, Offa ward, said he supported the development, describing it as a “higher quality” than others that had gone before the committee.
He said: “I agree entirely with everything that Marc has said. We are deficient in our policies – car parking and so on – we really do need to update our policies in terms of parking within the town centre.
“I’m very grateful to David Williams (Planning Officer) for the response that was given to my comments and I’m very happy to support his recommendation with the two additional two additional conditions added to the approval and the note to the applicant in relation to the requirements of toilets.”
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