This is a site that needs developing and at last we have plans that might get approved.
The former toilet on New Road is an eyesore. The new plans are to build a ground floor retail unit with office space above.
An application to demolish the toilet and build a retail unit with residential accommodation above was submitted in May 2016 (16/02163/FUL). This was refused by planning officers on grounds of lack of amenity space and the very small size of the proposed residential accommodation. I supported that decision. We need small flats but not so small that they fall below local and national minimum space standards.
The new application has offices on the first floor, instead of a flat (17/00859/FUL). The scheme is slightly bigger than previous plans.
I think this is a good solution for a difficult site.
My one concern is parking for people using the retail unit and offices. There is always a lack of parking spaces in this area. I don’t know how we solve that, but I don’t think it should be a reason to prevent redevelopment of this eyesore site.
. The minimum space standards are quite small. Nevertheless, in its recent white paper on housing, Fixing Our Broken Housing Market, the government said it is thinking of abandoning them and allowing even smaller dwellings. See Julia Park in Building Design.