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Flintshire: Council planning department approves retail use to apartment change

A RETAIL premises in Mold town centre which has been vacant for more than a decade can now be transformed into an apartment.

Flintshire Council’s planning department has granted permission change the use of unit 6, at the Ambrose Lloyd Centre near the New Street car park.

The unit is one of a small number of shopping mall units at the location.

A design and access statement submitted with the application said: “The proposed submission comprises of a change of use from a commercial retail unit to one bed apartment / flat.

“The building is currently a vacant retail unit in The Mall, Ambrose Lloyd Centre off Wrexham Street, Mold. The unit has remained unoccupied despite extensive marketing since March 2010 to date.”

It added: “The present ground floor is to be converted into a living area with a kitchen and storage areas. A first floor is to be introduced that will house a bathroom and mezzanine sleeping area.

“The ground floor will accommodate a new kitchen area with the existing WC being removed to form a storage area. A staircase installed to access the new first floor area that will house a bathroom and mezzanine sleeping area that will be open to the living area.”

Entrance to the premises will be from the pedestrian access to the mall at the Ambrose Lloyd Centre.

According to a planning officer’s report, the proposed re-use was considered to be a positive use for the site.

But the lack of outside space was noted by the planning officer, as was the possible conflict of night-time noise between retail town centre and residential use.

However the proposal was considered to be acceptable overall.

The officer’s report stated: “The change of use and the works proposed to facilitate this are considered appropriate and will bring about reuse of a vacant unit in a sustainable way.

“The change of use will not be detrimental to the vibrancy / vitality of the shopping centre and will not lead to an adverse impact upon amenity due to conflict between town centre and retail use and residential use.

“The limited changes proposed to the unit will not cause harm to the character of the Mold Conservation area, as such the proposal is compliant with the national policies and the relevant policies of the Flintshire Local Development Plan, a recommendation of conditional approval is made.”

Permission was granted in a delegated decision signed off by Flintshire Council’s chief planning officer Andrew Farrow.