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Plans for offices at Ladywell Business Centre in Newtown approved

Ladywell Shopping Centre (Pic: Creative Commons, Henry Spooner)

PLANS to change the use of two units at the Ladywell Business Centre in Newtown from cafe and wine bar to office space have been approved by Powys planners.

Back in 2020, developers EvaBuild Ltd were given the green light by Powys County Council planner for the second phase of redeveloping the former Ladywell Shopping Centre.

They were given permission to change the use of some units from A1 retail use to A3 which is for cafe or wine bars.

Several other units will also be changed from retail to the B1 category, which is for office and business use.

However, the demand for cafe and wine bars is not there hence the new application.

Agent, Geraint Jones of McCartney’s LLP explained the proposal in a planning statement.

Mr Jones said: “The proposal makes no alterations to the external of the building, with only minor internal reconfigurations required to implement this.

“Following the works to the majority of the building, the current space classed as A3 use remains vacant, with no demand for it at this location.

“This is viewed to be as a result of other premises within Newtown supplying this requirement.

“The applicants have however had a high demand and requests for additional B1 space, with all of the existing B1 spaces within the building let out.

“As a result, there is the demand for B1 at this location.”

Mr Jones pointed out that office unit use had been allowed as part of the previous planning permission.

Planning office Natalie Hinds said: “The units have not been fully fitted out or actively used as a café/wine bar and as such it is determined that the change of use was never implemented.”

Due to this Ms Hinds judged the application as one for changing the units use from retail to office/business use.

Ms Hinds said: “Units two and three are not currently in use and have been vacant for a considerable length of time.

“Consent was granted for the change of use of the majority of the units within the Ladywell Centre to office/business use and all of these units are currently let out.

“It is therefore considered that this development is likely to bring the vacant units back into use.

“It is considered the change of use would contribute to the vitality and viability of the town centre without having a significant detrimental impact on the provision of retail units.

“The proposed development does fundamentally comply with relevant planning policy and the recommendation is one of conditional consent.”

Built in 1981, the Ladywell shopping centre which included a Co-Op Supermarket was bought by Evabuild in 2017.

In February 2020, Quartix, the vehicle tracking supplier, moved into their new Headquarters at the Ladywell centre which had been part of the development’s first phase.