HOLYWELL FLATS: Plans to create apartments approved
PLANS to create apartments above a former solicitors’ office in Flintshire have been given the green light.
An application was put forward in November to convert two adjoining buildings on Holywell High Street, which were previously home to Clement Jones Solicitors.
More recently, they also housed an arts and craft shop, which was run by a social enterprise to provide work opportunities for people with mental health and learning disabilities.
Regency Alliance Ltd, which owns the properties, said it wanted to upgrade the ground floor units to use them as either individual or separate shops.
The scheme will also see the upper floor offices converted into two self-contained apartments.
The proposals have now been approved by an officer from Flintshire Council using delegated powers.
In a report, Alison Dean said it would help to boost the viability of the town centre.
She said: “Upper floors of many town centre properties are vacant or under used.
“The council therefore encourage the conversion of upper floors in town centre locations.
“Policy seeks to encourage the conversion of upper floors to increase footfall in town centres, reduce crime and improve safety, improve the condition of buildings and help to create a more vibrant retail core.
“The proposed retail use at ground floor and the conversion of upper floors to residential is acceptable in policy terms and those uses are highly encouraged in a sustainable town centre location.
“Public transport and parking provision exists within the town and there are therefore no objections from highways.
“The proposals have been amended taking into account concerns raised by the conservation officer and are now considered to be acceptable, will maintain and enhance the appearance of the buildings and conservation area and will have no adverse effect on the nearby listed buildings.”
In documents submitted to the local authority, an agent acting on behalf of the company behind the plans said steps would be taken to protect the history of the buildings, which date back to the mid-19th century.
Town planner Peter Jones Hughes said the upper floors of both properties had been in use as office accommodation for a number of years before becoming vacant.
He added few changes would be made to the outside of the buildings, except for the installation of a new shop front on one of the units.
Words: Liam Randall, Local Democracy Reporter
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