Shops, homes and office space plan for town centre building

The Poundstretcher store will be converted to homes, shops and office space.

The Poundstretcher store will be converted to homes, shops and office space. - Credit: ARCHANT

The Poundstretcher store in St Neots town centre is set to be reconfigured into  shops, and residential and office complex.

Neots Properties Ltd has been given the go-ahead to carry out extensive changes to the building, off Tebbutts Road, by planners at Huntingdonshire District Council.

The firm had applied to sub-divide the ground floor into four new shops, to create 1,200 sq m of office space on the first floor and to replace the existing roof with a new storey containing 10 flats.

In 2018, approval had been given to convert the first floor of the building, latterly a Poundstretcher outlet, into 10 homes.

A report by council planners said: “The design of the building would be altered significantly with a new roof installed, an additional floor added, use of cladding materials, additional fenestration at ground floor level and extensions at first floor level."

Planners said the five two-bed and five one-bed flats did not strictly comply with the mix proposed for homes in the district but were considered acceptable given the small number proposed and that they would help to achieve a “sustainable, inclusive and mixed community in the locality”. 

The scheme was also considered to bring a number of benefits.
The report said: “The proposed development would contribute towards economic growth, including job creation during the renovation phase and in the longer term through the additional population assisting the local economy through spending on services/facilities.

“The proposed development would increase the supply of market housing. Whilst the council can demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing land, the provision of market housing on the application site would amount to a benefit in terms of providing a greater flexibility to the supply of housing.”

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The report said the scheme was not considered to result in a detrimental impact on the character of the area or was at risk of flooding.

It added: “Whilst the residential element of the proposal represents a car free development, the sustainable location of the application site is
noted and given considerable weight, along with the availability and capacity of the public car parks in the vicinity.