A FORMER Inland Revenue office is set to be redeveloped into a mixed development containing apartments and a convenience store.
Planners at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council have given the green light for the change of use for the three-storey Britannia Chambers building at the junction of Salisbury Street and West Street, Leek.
A design and access statement submitted by Byatt Oliver Associates said: "The proposal is to utilise the property by refurbishing the existing structure, improving aesthetics and the functionality of the premises.
"Proposals are for the internal alteration and fit out of the ground floor to accommodate a convenience store.
"The two upper floors are to be converted in to high quality affordable residential accommodation."
The ground floor would have a floor space of 367 square metres for the convenience store, while the first and second floor would have between 10 and 12 one-bedroom apartments, served via a private access from the car park.
The site has parking spaces for up to 10 vehicles, accessed from West Street.
There is also a rear yard providing further space.
The statement added: "A mixed use development will ensure a good mix of these elements while making the scheme viable for the client.
"While the development will have a proportion of retail, we would view this as secondary and should not have any impact of the town centre masterplan."
"The proposal in essence is to retain the existing building with a sustainable future. The surrounding area is a mixed use and therefore the development would have no adverse effects."
Leek county and district councillor Charlotte Atkins pointed out that plans for homes on the Sainsbury's site in Macclesfield road had been withdrawn.
The Post & Times reported in June how Ascent, a joint venture between the district council and Your Housing, had shelved the scheme after asbestos was found on the site.
Ms Atkins said: "We certainly need affordable houses as some have been lost on the Sainsbury's site. Many young people do wish to stay in the town.
"I am unsure if the shop is in the right location. The town plans want to promote the town centre.
"Talks are all about focusing commercial activities on the town centre to keep it vibrant as this is the heart of the town."
The tax office had been advertised for £295,000, or £29,950 a year rent.
In 2008 HM Revenue and Customs announced it was going to withdraw from Britannia Chambers and relocate staff to other offices.
However, it stated the site would not be fully vacated before Spring 2010.
The building at the time employed 19 members of staff .