HMO plans for space above empty Stafford shop

An area above an empty Stafford town centre shop could be converted into living space.

The empty unit in Gaolgate Street, Stafford.
The empty unit in Gaolgate Street, Stafford.

The Gaolgate Street unit was previously occupied by Accesorize until the chain moved to a new venue at the Riverside shopping centre.

Now plans have been submitted to Stafford Borough Council to convert the first and second floors above the shop into a house of multiple occupancy (HMO).

If the application is approved six bedrooms would be created, alongside a communal kitchen and shared bathroom facilities.

A heritage statement said: “The applicant owns the first and second floors of the building with access from the rear courtyard, which is shared with other properties which surround it. The ground floor of the building is in different ownership and does not form part of this application.

“There is no proposal to alter in any way the external appearance of the building, either on Gaolgate Street or to the rear, except to provide planting to the first floor rear roof terrace together with a small bicycle store and repairs to the covered staircase access. The proposal will have no negative impact on Stafford Conservation Area.”

But a nearby businessperson has objected to the plans.

They said: “I have concerns about access to the building from the rear which is a loading/unloading bin storage area. Is this going to cause a security issue for us?

“I am also concerned about the additional noise from this many rooms and the impact this will have on my business.

“My office is situated a few feet away from the planned outside seating area. I am very concerned about the noise implications whilst I am trying to hold meetings with brand representatives and interviews with staff and how unprofessional this could be.”

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