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Plans to split solicitor’s office into flats welcomed by councillors

PLANS to convert and split a former solicitor’s office in Brynmawr into flats has been welcomed by councillors.

At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Planning committee on Thursday, September 8, councillors discussed a proposal to change the use of ground floor offices and living accommodation on the first and second floor of 74 King Street, Brynmawr into two separate homes.

The plans had been submitted by Karen Akinci and they also included changing the use of “Caleb’s cottage,” a building which is behind 74 King Street, into a home.

Parking provision for six vehicles was also part of the proposal.

Planning development team manager Steph Hopkins told councillors that the former office is “not in a very good condition” and that the cottage had been boarded up and had: “fallen into a state of disrepair.”

Back in January the committee had approved an application that changed 74 King’s Street from an office with upstairs accommodation into one residential home covering all of the property.

Ms Hopkins said: “Some might remember a similar application; at the time it didn’t include Caleb Cottage or the rear area for parking.

“The only reason this application is before you today is because the site falls within the town centre boundary and at ground floor level, residential uses are not permitted.”

This means that the application is a “departure” from planning policy.

Ms Hopkins added: “But as with the previous application this is on the periphery of the town centre boundary and predominantly sits amongst residential properties, the replacement LDP (Local Development Plan) is likely to remove this property from the town centre boundary.”

She explained that even though the plans did not comply with current planning policies the professional advice was to grant approval.

“In all other respects this development is acceptable and will improve the appearance of these properties on Kings Street,” said Ms Hopkins.

Committee chairwoman, Cllr Lisa Winnett said: “This would enhance would is already predominantly a residential street anyway.

Cllr Derrick Bevan said: “It is an eyesore and any development to these properties has to be an improvement.”

Cllr John Hill said: “This is a brilliant project.”

Councillors unanimously approved the plans.


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