Comments on Application 17/03010 - 72 to 74 High Street
Change of use and extension to upper floors from ancillary retail to form 12 apartments, alterations and extension of ground floor retail unit with roof terrace over, construction of a block of 20 apartments.
We do not have a problem with the development, change of use and extension of the floors above the retail unit fronting the High Street. However, the six storey block of 20 apartments facing West Street are excessive. Whilst the town centre location creates the opportunity to provide no on site parking facilities, this proposal ignores the necessity for retail delivery and service access, and the need for a drop off / pick up zone for residents to the rear in West Street. The building line is right up to the pavement in West Street, so residents cars or delivery vehicles will have to park on and block the pedestrian footway. The ground and first floor levels of the new apartment block should be set back from the road, to generate a drop off zone to service the retail unit and the residential flats. This will reduce the total number of flats, but it is completely impractical to provide no stopping / drop off area to service the site. The vast number of bins shown in the bin store on the ground floor illustrates the need to provide an off street short term parking area. Therefore, we OBJECT to the proposal, not because of the lack of residents parking, but because there is no provision of a rear ground level, off street service area. Whilst we applaud the provision of the courtyard amenity space, in reality the lack of off road vehicular access is a major shortfall. If necessary, the West Street elevations should be set back from the road - even at the expense of the amenity space.
As this is one of the first new residential developments proposed for the rear of existing High Street retail units, it is very important that there is recognition of the fact that the failure to provide drop off and delivery access off the road will create chaos on West Street when the area is further developed.