Empty offices could be converted into accommodation for young care leavers

Empty offices in Walsall will be transformed into flats to support young people coming out of the care system.

Disused offices in Station Street, Walsall. Photo: Google
Disused offices in Station Street, Walsall. Photo: Google

Walsall Council planners are weighing up a proposal submitted by applicant Samera Charles to convert the Station Street offices into 12 supported living apartments.

If approval is granted, the flats would be aimed at young adults – referred by the authority – to help them adjust to a life of independence.

The properties were previously terraced houses before being converted into offices which are now empty.

Work will be carried out to create nine en-suite bedrooms within the existing building, as well as a communal lounge, kitchen, outdoor area and manager’s office.

A client statement submitted to the council said: “The facility would be for young adults who are transitioning to independence.

“Staff would be two per shift and there would be a day shift and night shift.

“All staff would be locally sourced to avoid the use of cars as the aim is to reduce carbon foot print.

“There is also ample local transport and it is proposed this would be the main mode of travel. It is proposed referrals would be from local authority.

Planning agents The Architectural Consultancy Ltd added: “The building is in a row of terraced houses facing the main road.

“The local community will benefit from the development by providing living accommodation for young people.

“The development will provide fully refurbished building on the street which will add value to the building and the street.

“Historically the buildings were residential and now are being restored back to the original residential use. This should be welcomed.

“The client chose this property for its existing residential layout and could easily be turned into living accommodation for young people. Plus, the property is very close to public transport and other facilities.”

Walsall Council planning officers are expected to make a decision next month.

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