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Office block to become 22 flats

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A PROPOSAL to convert a three-storey office block in Plat Douet Road, St Saviour, into 22 flats has been approved by the Planning Committee.

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A previous application was refused after the scale of the proposed building was deemed to be too large.

But Laurence Davies, planning officer, recommended that the proposal now be passed, adding that the application fitted well within the Island Plan policy of turning redundant office blocks into residential accommodation.

‘The pitched roof of the existing building would be removed and replaced with a flat roof with a four-storey extension plus an additional partly in-ground lower level to be constructed to the rear. Vehicle parking for residents would be located around the perimeter to the rear,’ he said.

‘Architecturally the old building is to be remodelled and updated, we feel improving its overall appearance. Together with the landscaping, this will improve the overall setting and streetscape of the site.’

However, moving position from behind the committee table to speak against the development, St Saviour Deputy Jeremy Maçon said that although the new application was a ‘vast improvement’ on what had previously been proposed, it was still inappropriate.

He cited a previous report, saying there were issues with privacy and the size of the building, Samuel Le Riche House.

Robert Godel, of Godel Architects, disagreed.

‘All we are doing is taking off the existing pitch roof and and replacing it with some accommodation which I think would be very nice accommodation,’ he said.

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‘With regards to privacy, we are more than happy to have a condition, should it be approved, such that all the balconies facing west can be fitted with opaque glazing.’

Mr Godel added that his clients were willing to contribute £1,350 per apartment [£29,700] towards the Eastern Cycle Route Scheme.

Planning Committee Chairman Deputy Russell Labey, said that the adaptations would help ‘regenerate the area’ and ‘smarten it up’.

Meanwhile, Deputy Rowland Huelin said that although he was normally sceptical about large-scale developments he could not see a reason to turn the application down.

And Deputy Scott Wickenden said he liked the proposals, adding that the revised plans were a vast improvement.

All three approved the development, while Deputy Maçon abstained because the development is in his constituency.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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