Second application to build flats in St Helier

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A SECOND application to build several apartments on the site of a former St Helier furniture store has been submitted after permission was initially refused.

The former Furnishing Centre premises on Victoria Street (28747429)

Ashley Heath, of Henley Developments, is hoping to demolish the old Furnishing Centre in Victoria Street – which has lain empty for two years – to build three one-bedroom and six two-bedroom apartments.

He had previously wanted to build three one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments but the plans had to be scaled back after the Planning Committee deemed that the proposed structure would have an unacceptable impact on properties to the south of the site.

According to the design statement, the pre-1935 ‘low quality’ structure – once also occupied by Colebrooks car dealership – is inappropriate for retail activities and its replacement will provide desperately needed housing within a built-up area of St Helier. ‘In general terms, the building is something of an anomaly in form and usage, as the predominant building type along Victoria Street is terraced housing or flats, interspersed with focal ecclesiastical structures. Most buildings on the street are painted render in a variety of Victorian styles, whereas this building is constructed in brick with an irregular pattern of window openings,’ it said.

‘This proposal would replace the existing commercial building with high-quality flat accommodation with discreet parking, designed in such a way as to harmonise with the rhythm, style and scale of the street.

‘The design aims to provide a more appropriate and characterful building that will help to consolidate the streetscape, whilst providing a range of modern adaptable homes in the heart of St Helier, close to local amenities and services.’

The design statement added that the proposed building had now been remodelled to address previous concerns.

‘Since refusal of the previous scheme, we have significantly amended the design to address the reason for refusal – the impact upon properties to the south – and the case officer had confirmed that the measures taken to reduce the potential for overlooking and the scale of the building in this area are appropriate and acceptable,’ it said.

‘The amended design has also reduced the overall number of flats from 11 to 9 and parking is now provided in excess of one space per unit, as required by the parish of St Helier.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor

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