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Former office space in Stafford could be transformed into homes

Former office space in Stafford town centre could be transformed back into homes if plans are given the green light.

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The empty terraced properties at North Walls, Stafford

The terraced houses in North Walls were converted into the home of Stafford District Voluntary Services (SDVS), but have been vacant since April 2015.

Last year Stafford Borough Council agreed to sell the properties on the open market, after being unable to find a cost-effective way to reuse them for affordable or supported housing. The proceeds from the sale were intended to support the development of affordable homes elsewhere in the borough.

Now a planning application has come forward to convert the the former offices into 10 homes. A design and access statement submitted as part of the application said one one-bedroom, one three-bedroom and eight two-bedroom homes were proposed.

It added: “The proposal is a deconversion of the existing building to 10 individual houses, effectively returning it to the original form. The new residential units will serve to activate and enliven the streetscape and create high levels of passive surveillance over the public realm.

“Fenestration is a key factor in ensuring that routes and spaces can be monitored or secured. All dwellings have windows to habitable rooms that overlook North Walls to the front and the parking bays at the rear.

“To ensure that all dwellings have good levels of internal space, meeting or exceeding the minimum standards, plots one to six benefit from a two-storey rear extension and private rear terrace. The original office entrance will be sub-divided to create a secure bin store, allowing easy collection from the public highway, and a cycle store to the rear.

“The development will benefit from 18 parking bays to the rear, four motorcycle spaces and a secure cycle store with a capacity for 10 bicycles. In addition, the site is highly accessible on foot, cycle and by public transport, commensurate with its town centre location, and is shown to be highly sustainable in respect of access to a wide range of facilities by non-car travel modes.”

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