A bid to turn offices into flats slated
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PLANS to convert a former office block into 30 flats have been slammed by a senior councillor as ‘inappropriate’.
Serviced offices provider TMT UK is looking to transform Badger House offices on the Oldmixon Industrial Estate into apartments.
But North Somerset Councillor and executive member for planning Elfan Ap Rees says the scheme would undermine the authority’s ‘employment-led’ policy and that there would be ‘no benefit’ to introducing housing to the industrial area.
He added that TMT is ‘exploiting’ a change in Government policy allowing accommodation to be converted into residential use without planning permission.
Cllr Ap Rees added: “Whilst I accept there can be certain circumstances where this new government policy makes sense, it cannot be of benefit to introduce housing in the middle of a busy industrial estate, especially in an area where we are trying hard to create employment.
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“In this location it is simply not appropriate, not for neighbouring businesses nor for future residents who will have no amenity space, insufficient off-road parking, and are likely to suffer from the noise from heavy goods vehicles and other traffic passing by at all hours.
“Our officers specifically warned the Government that this would happen when they consulted on the policy change and asked for this area of Weston to be exempt.
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“They ignored our request and I have now asked our MP to make fresh representations to try and avoid losing more employment buildings in the area.
“At the moment we are virtually powerless to stop this loss which if it continues will be a disaster for the town.”
TMT UK was contacted but declined to provide a comment when the Mercury went to print.