TRANSFORMED: Office block could be transformed into flats
A largely-vacant office block in Frome could be transformed into flats under new proposals.
Neil Irwin of investment group Vallis House Ltd. has applied to turn the Vallis House complex on the A362 Vallis Road into 31 dwellings.
Permission for 22 flats on the same site was granted in April but never implemented, prompting this new application.
Mendip District Council is expected to make a decision on the plans later in the year.
Recent changes to planning law allow offices to be partly or wholly converted into housing under “prior approval schemes”, in a bid to ease the housing crisis by delivering smaller homes.
A similar conversion recently took place in Chard, with Chataway House on Leach Road being re-purposed into 41 one- and two-bedroom apartments.
Aside from the Vallis Group, which provides a range of shipping and supply chain services in Africa and the Middle East, the Vallis House block is largely unoccupied.
A spokesman for Mr Irwin said: “Vallis House is in office use, although much of the building is currently vacant. The long section of the L-shaped building is occupied at upper ground floor level.
“The site is located within the edge of the development limits of Frome. Aside from the site and the neighbouring Vallis Trading Estate to the west, the surrounding area is predominantly residential.”
The site lies near the Vallis Park housing development of 64 homes, which was approved by the council in 2019.
The building’s closest neighbour is the town’s Royal Mail delivery office, which backs onto the existing trading estate.
Under the proposals, three flats will be provided on the lower ground floor, with 14 on both the ground and first floors.
The existing 55 car parking spaces outside the block will remain, with a cycle store also being provided, and access from both Vallis Road and Robins Lane being maintained.
The council is expected to make a final decision on the plans before Christmas.
Words: Daniel Mumby, Local Democracy Reporter
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