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Store and flats plan for former Leek tax office building

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 07, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

Britannia Chambers.

Britannia Chambers.

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PLANS have been tabled for the redevelopment of a former Inland Revenue office.

A planning application has been submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to change the use of the three-storey Britannia Chambers building at the junction of Salisbury Street and West Street, Leek, into a mixed use of residential and retail.

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 functionality of the premises.

"Preliminary 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 which is 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."

Leek county and district councillor Charlotte Atkins said: "We do need one-bedroom flats as the bedroom tax has had a major impact on residents. This has impacted badly on disabled people who need room for lots of equipment.

"I am, however, concerned over the retail side of the proposal. There are already some shops in the area and we need to protect the town centre.

"I would like to see a survey done for the possible use of the store as it is on the edge of the town centre."

The premises have 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 .

A decision is expected by planners on the scheme within eight to 12 weeks.

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