Walsall retail space to be turned into flats after lack of interest
New apartments are set to be created in a Walsall town centre development after efforts to launch a new restaurant failed to materialise.
Walsall Council planners have granted permission to St Matthews View owner Paul Broadgate to convert the first-floor mezzanine space into three flats.
The commercial and residential development, on High Street, was completed in 2017 and replaced part of the former Hole In The Wall fabric building, which was ravaged into a fire 13 years earlier.
Nine apartments were created and successfully sold but the two-storey space earmarked for a shop, cafe or restaurant has remained empty despite efforts to market it.
Bosses claimed the opening of other retail schemes nearby, most notably Market Square which features Primark, had hampered their plans.
The three apartments will feature two one-bedroom and one one-bedroom property on the first floor while the ground-floor space will remain open for commercial. Hole In The Wall has reopened next door to the development.
Agents BHB Architects said: “The site was previously an unsafe, structurally unsound and derelict building devastated by fire damage from several years before.
“St Matthews View has been an established residential and commercial development for two years following its completion in 2017.
“Since completion the 2 storey retail unit has been marketed by Burley Browne Chartered Surveyors with no success in finding a tenant.
“However, there has been continued interest in the apartments, which have seen almost 100 per cent occupancy since the completion of the development.
“The current mezzanine area was originally intended to provide additional retail floor area to potential tenants.
“However the current market conditions, in conjunction with the creation of new retail floor space in Walsall, have had a negative effect on being able to find a suitable tenant for this unit.
“The proposal will overcome the issue of redundant A1 floor space and appeal to the demand for high quality and secure rental properties within the town.
“The change of use proposes a feasible alteration for the St Matthews View development and a better use of space for an otherwise permanently vacant unit, of which there are many in abundance in Walsall town centre.”
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