Planning permission has been approved to convert the former Debenhams store, at 196-200 Bangor High Street, into 4 apartments on the upper floors, in addition to an existing living unit, and retail units on the ground floor.
The proposal follows a refused application for a much larger scheme of Student Accommodation in 2015. Similar plans to retain the ground floor while converting the upper floors into 49-bed student accommodation by extending the 130 year old building were withdrawn last year following local opposition.
The building is currently rented as an arcade type retail unit where several businesses share the floor space. The ground floor consists of several small units, the first floor is used mainly by a Household clearance shop, with storage on the second floor.
The proposal consists of subdividing the ground floor into three separate retail units, each with shop frontage and access onto the high street. These units would extend to the rear of the property. The first floor would be converted from retail into three apartments. The second floor would be converted into another two apartments. propose 4 two bedroom 4 person apartments and one single bedroom, two person apartments. One apartment will be affordable.
The development is ‘car free’ as, according to the planning document, the occupiers would live in a highly accessible location close to the university, the city centre and to public transport facilities. Should it be the case that the occupiers do use private transport, they will be encouraged to use the local authorities long stay car parks
The planners claim the development will help meet a city-wide need for additional accommodation, securing a number of benefits for the local area and city as a whole.