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Flats plan to transform empty offices

By Gurdip Thandi | Walsall | News | Published:

Offices which have lain empty in Walsall town centre will be converted into flats after attempts to attract new business failed.

Offices at the end of Lichfield Street, Walsall, which are set to be converted into apartments. Photo: Google Street View

Walsall Council planners gave the green light to developer Kalam Family Property Investments to convert the premises on Lichfield Street into three new apartments.

In a separate application, the authority’s planning department also approved a proposal by Sarbjit Bilkhu to turn offices on Navigation Street into four one-bedroom flats.

Prior to lockdown, Walsall Council drew up a master plan for the town centre and bosses said the area would see more residential use due to the changing face of high streets in recent years.

In the Lichfield Street application, agents Lapworth Architects said: “The existing building is considered to be in a poor and dilapidated condition. The building has been un-occupied as of April 2017.

“We understand that the application site has also been marketed for a considerably long period of time and very little interest has been shown in renting an office of this size and within this location.

“Furthermore the property is in what can only be described as highly sustainable location.

“The site is in within walking distance of the all facilities one would expect within a town centre.”

They added there was no parking provided with the offices but plenty of available spaces around the area for those who would live in the one-bedroom flats.

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In the Navigation Street development, the applicants said: “Apartments are proposed within an existing mixed-use building.

“The existing building has excellent transport links and is within three minutes walking distance to Walsall train station and six minutes walking distance to St Paul’s Bus Station.

“There will be a reduced highways impact as the existing offices are inhabited with employees during working hours, the proposed apartments are one bedroom apartments which can expect to be inhabited on average by one to two people at a time.”

Gurdip Thandi

By Gurdip Thandi
@Gurdo

Local Democracy Reporter covering Walsall.

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