Shropshire Star

Apartments plan for former veteran support centre

A former workhouse building which was used to support army veterans is set to be turned into apartments, under plans being considered by councillors.

Audley Court in Newport. Picture: Google Maps

Audley Court in Newport dates back to 1908 and is proposed to be turned into 11 apartments as part of a development which would create 43 homes.

The Audley Avenue building is currently vacant and was more recently occupied by a Combat Stress Treatment Centre for veterans.

The locally Listed Building was placed on the open market two years ago and sold to applicant Cameron Galliers Homes.

It is proposed that land behind and to the western side of the property will provide space for 32 homes of different sizes including two, three, four and five-bed homes. Audley Court itself is planned to be converted into 11 apartments of one and two bedrooms.

There will be 28 open market homes and 15 affordable properties, including four first homes.

As part of the proposals for Audley Court a first-floor extension will be demolished and a new two-storey rear extension will be built to provide a stairwell and further accommodation for the flats.

“As this reflects the design and features of Audley Court and is insignificant in size, it is considered that this will not have an adverse impact on the building and is therefore an acceptable addition,” a Telford & Wrekin Council planning officer said in his report recommending the plans for approval.

“The neighbouring Audley House Mews is also locally listed and has been converted into residential apartments, which establishes that this is an acceptable re-use of these historic buildings.”

The council’s heritage department commented that the proposals retain the whole of the front elevation of the Building of Local Interest.

Newport Town Council commented on the application and raised concerns about the increased number of vehicles close to the Burton Borough School.

They suggested a financial contribution (Section 106 agreement) from the developer to implement traffic calming and pedestrian safety measures.

“Also a biodiversity new gain contribution to offset the overall loss of trees and impact of the development on wildlife in the area,” added the town council.

In response the Telford & Wrekin Council’s planning officer concluded: “It is expected that the level of vehicular traffic is unlikely to have a negative overall impact on the local road network.

“Furthermore, traffic is regulated on Audley Avenue due to the bus bollards positioned by the cemetery preventing cars accessing the site from the east.”

Telford & Wrekin Council’s healthy spaces department added that a financial contribution should be made towards improving the existing play and outdoor sports facilities at the adjacent Shukers Playing Field.

If the planning application is approved a Section 106 financial agreement would see a contribution paid to upgrade nearby off-site sports facilities.

A financial contribution towards education provision will also be provided and a £5,000 contribution towards double yellow lines being laid on Audley Avenue and into the site.

“Given the nature of the building, that has been much altered to cater previously for the very specific needs of Combat Stress and in light of the above evidence, finding an alternative community use for the facility is considered to be not likely to be achievable,” concluded the council’s planning officer.

“That being the case, the re-purposing of it for residential use in the form of affordable housing is considered acceptable.

“The proposed development will respect and respond positively to the site and the wider area. The development will not cause any detrimental impact upon the amenity of neighbouring properties.”

Telford & Wrekin councillors will meet to discuss the plans next week at their planning committee.

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