Council objects to plan to turn offices into homes

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 September 2017

Councillors in Nailsea are against plans to transform an office building into 56 flats due to the loss of employment space.

Juggle Nation Limited, which owns Coates House, has applied to North Somerset Council to turn the four-storey building in High Street into new homes.

The proposal includes 48 one-bedroom flats and eight two-bedroom flats, but Nailsea Town Council believes it would mean overdevelopment of the site and a loss of valuable employment space.

Town council clerk Ian Morrell said: “The council agreed to recommend rejecting the application based on the loss of employment space.

“There were enormous concerns expressed about how small the apartments seemed to be and councillors believed it would be overdevelopment of the site.

“Based on the number of people they were proposing to squeeze in there, access onto the road would be a problem.

“There was also inadequate parking provision, which, if the proposal is agreed, is likely to exacerbate long-standing issues in Lodge Lane with parking.

“There was a consensus that it would be better if it was refurbished as office space for small or start-up businesses.”

The upper floors of the building are currently empty, but the ground floor is still used for offices with an electronics lab towards the back.

The owner is keen to build 12 one-bedroom flats on the ground floor, 14 one-bedroom flats on the first floor, 11 one-bedroom flats and four two-bedroom flats on both the second and third floors.

In the application, the owner states: “With regards to traffic generation, it is considered that use of this site for residential purposes would not be significantly different than if the building were to be re-occupied as an office building.

Commuters regularly park in Lodge Lane, Vowles Close, Elm Lodge Road and Nailsea Park, due to a lack of car parking spaces.

Coates House has a large car park, but the owner has agreed it is not big enough to contain the required number of spaces for the development, and councillors fear people will be forced to park in nearby residential streets.

People can comment on the application at www.n-somerset.gov.uk until October 6.

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