Two long-standing empty shops in Wrexham could soon be converted into eateries.
Proposals have been put forward for a change of use from retail to Class A3 (food and drink) for unit eleven and unit three on Henblas Street.
Both properties – which were previously home to Bodycare and Internationale – have been empty for several years.
However new plans submitted to Wrexham Council hope to give the two vacant properties a fresh lease of life, with a planning statement submitted by the applicants referencing the Wrexham town centre masterplan and its aims of “improving the diversity of the evening economy through the provision of entertainment and food and drink establishments”.
No details are provided as to who will occupy the units, however the statement continues onto say that it is “considered that the proposed changes of use are entirely appropriate in this location and policy compliant by virtue that they won’t lead to an over concentration of such units.
It adds: “The benefits are apparent, they will improve the vitality and viability of Henblas Street and the new uses go some way to improving the evening economy, which is a key aim of the town centre masterplan and PPW (Planning Policy Wales).
The application is one of many changes planned for the row of shops on Henblas Street.
Seen as a ‘landmark development’ back in the late 90s, in recent years the development saw all its high street retailers vacate the site due either to relocation or companies falling into administration.
The first major blow to the shopping area was the loss of TJ Hughes in 2011, which many saw as a link between the town centre and Chester Street and the People’s Market.
Shops such as Bodycare, The Entertainer, Evans and the Post Office have also left site.
In August 2017 the last big name of Henblas Square, Bhs, entered administration – leaving one of the site’s largest and most prominent retail units vacant.
Recently there has been activity at the site, with Mandale Group taking over the building last year.
Some of the empty shops on Henblas Street have started to fill up in recent months, with a bridal and prom dress store moving into the former Evans and a refurbs shop opening in the old Post Office.
Earlier this year Techniquest Glyndwr secured planning permission to convert the former TJ Hughes into a “exciting and engaging space for all explorers”.
The former BHS is set to become home to Sports Direct early next year – with new window vinyls being place on the building last week and work currently underway revamping the interior.
Planning permission was also granted earlier this year to convert the vacant office space on the first floor into more than 50 apartments.
At the time it was agreed that The Mandale Group provided a sum of around £300,000 towards the cost of affordable housing elsewhere in the county borough.
However the company had been accused of greed at a planning committee meeting after it attempted to reduce the sum to just under £29,000.
Applications for the change of use of the two units will be considered for approval at a later date.
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