Posted: Thu 11th Apr 2024

Plans Approved for Nine Apartments Above Former Shop in Wrexham City Centre

North Wales news and information

PLANS to create nine apartments above an empty shop in Wrexham city centre have been approved despite concerns over noise from nearby pubs and bars.
Proposals for the upper floors of the former Select fashion store on Hope Street, which also include plans for three offices, were considered by councillors this week.
North Block Limited, which is behind the scheme, said it would help to support the viability of the main shopping area.
A senior Wrexham Council official recommended that permission for the application should be granted ahead of Monday’s (April 8, 2024) planning committee meeting.
However, Cllr Andy Gallanders (Plaid), said he was concerned by the fact the site backs onto Abbot Street which is home to a number of pubs and bars.
It followed a decision over proposals to build apartments above the Waterstones store on Regent Street being deferred earlier in the meeting due to noise issues.
Cllr Gallanders said: “This backs on to Abbot Street which is a very popular night-time element of our city.
“I’m really surprised that the issues raised with the other application which this committee heard today aren’t also the same for this development.”
According to the proposals, a small number of alterations will be made to the front of the building, including new access doorway and an upgrade to the balustrade on the third floor.
Balconies will be installed at the back of the property to serve six of the nine apartments and the shop itself will be retained as part of the application.
In a report to councillors, Wrexham’s chief planning officer David Fitzsimon backed the scheme for approval.
He said soundproofing measures would be required to the floors and walls of the apartments to prevent noise issues.
Speaking at the meeting, planning officer Matthew Phillips also moved to address the concerns over noise from night-time venues.
He said: “I do think the relationship between Abbot Street and the development is actually quite a bit different than the Regent Street development. The music venue there is an awful lot closer.
“The development is quite some distance from Abbot Street and there is intervening development as well, which will all influence the noise exposure to that area of the site.
“The (soundproofing) condition is something which colleagues in public protection have agreed will be appropriate in this instance.”
Local councillor Phil Wynn (Ind) was among those who supported the proposals, claiming it would help to support the regeneration of the city centre.
He said: “It’s always a struggle in terms of what you do with these voids above shops in city centres.
“I welcome anything that revitalises it and keeps shops on the street level open really.”
Chirk north councillor Frank Hemmings (Lab) supported his views on the scheme.
He said: “A lot is talked about revitalising town centres and city centres like ours.
“The way we can do that is to utilise what might be dead parts of buildings and create these sorts of developments to put in flats and apartments.
“I think it’s important that we support that to bring life back into the town centre, and bring people back into the town centre.”
The proposals were approved by 13 votes to one at the end of the debate.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter

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