Flats plans for Newport city centre office buildings

EMPTY office buildings in Newport city centre could be turned into flats, if new plans are approved.

Currently, the premises at 24 and 25 Railway Street in the city centre are empty, and fresh plans have been submitted to Newport City Council to bring these back into use.

If approved, work would be carried out to turn the two properties into four, single bedroom flats.

No external changes to the building itself are proposed.

Located next to the Travelodge hotel and Admiral building, opposite Newport Railway Station, the properties form two thirds of a three property terrace, in a prominent, city centre location.

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The properties appear to have once been residential in use, but in their recent history, they have served as commercial premises.

However, supporting documents show that since February 27, 2020, both premises have been vacant.

Most recently, they were home to Bolwell & Hayward Limited, and Salisbury Solutions Limited.

Since then, attempts are said to have been made to market the properties – with billboards, and online advertisements on property website Rightmove, and Gumtree having been made.

These are thought to have been unsuccessful, with the applicant saying that “there has been little interest in the properties as offices due to the fact that many people are working from home due to the pandemic and lockdown with very low footfall in and around Newport centre to make it a viable rental option for potential businesses.

“There is such an excess supply of commercial units.”

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The proposal, which has been submitted by Richard Owen of Owen Projects on behalf of applicants Richard Hayward Properties, is already thought to have attracted interested parties.

According to the planning documents: “Since the application for planning to convert the offices back to residential accommodation, we have had a number of interested parties who would rent all four apartments as part of their Newport accommodation portfolio and rent them out on short stay basis for both business and tourism use.”

The planning application was validated by Newport City Council’s planning department last week.

It is not known when a decision is expected to be made, though the application can be viewed and commented upon here.

South Wales Argus | Business