Macham Investments Ltd have published plans to redevelop the ugly One Stop site at 9 Tower Street (16/04032/FUL). This site needs developing, though I am concerned that the company could be trying to cram too much onto the site.
The plan is for a retail unit or café on the ground floor with 10 apartments on the first floor. Above those will be two floors of offices. A ground floor annex will also house offices.
Buildings can only be used for specific uses set out in national planning rules. This rather antiquated and inflexible systeem is based on Use Classes.
The current planning permission for 9 Tower Street is for a shop (Class A1). Macham plans to broaden the potential uses of the building to Class A1 or A3 – restaurant or café. It is not applying for Class A4 – pubs and bars. That kicks into touch the rumour going around that this will be a Wetherspoon pub (see other Wetherspoon rumours). Macham could always be a later application for a further change of use to a pub or bar, but that would require another planning application.
I would like to hear the views of residents and conservation specialists before commenting on this scheme. I think the development is rather crowded but I would like to see this site redeveloped.
Should this scheme be granted planning permission, a major priority will be to secure the future of the post office.