A former discount store could be transformed into new flats and shops if new plans are given the go ahead.
The vacant Poundworld shop, in Rochdale town centre, would be converted into 22 homes and seven retail units under proposals tabled by property developer Cassel and Fletcher.
The building would largely retain its existing appearance, although a new pitched roof extension would increase its height. New shop fronts and entrances would also be created and the existing signage removed.
The site dates to the mid-19th century and the building is considered to ‘offer some contribution to the significance of the town centre conservation area’, according to planning papers.
However the shop is currently boarded up following the demise of Poundworld in 2018, leaving it ‘vulnerable to vandalism and unauthorised occupation’.
A document submitted in support of the application argues the plans will bring significant benefits to the heart of the town.
It reads: “The proposals will provide much needed housing in a town centre location which is in proximity to a range of amenities, employment opportunities and well served by public transport.
“The proposed development will deliver good quality housing and contribute to the creation of a mixed and sustainable community.”
All the new homes would be available at market rates and none are designated as affordable or social housing.
However, the applicant argues that the flats will ‘help to free up larger properties which are under single person occupancy’, while nearby shops and businesses will also benefit as a result of more people living nearby.
The document claims bringing the building back back into use will ‘protect the vitality and viability of Rochdale town centre. It adds that the ‘visual environment will be greatly enhanced by the proposals’ having a ‘positive impact’ on the listed buildings on Baillie Street.
The plans do not include any parking spaces due to the development’s town centre location. However, papers say future residents will benefit from strong public transport links ‘reducing the need to travel by car, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality’.
In conclusion, the planning statement adds: “The proposals will be associated with positive design impacts, and will have major positive heritage impacts in terms of the character and appearance of the application site and of this part of the Rochdale town centre conservation area, as well as serving to conserve and enhance the setting of adjacent listed buildings on Baillie Street. “
Rochdale council will decide whether to grant planning permission for the scheme.