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Hereford City Centre Shrinking!

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Over the past few years, we have noticed more and more planning applications to change use from shops to flats. Again today plans have been submitted here for 145 Eign Street

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Proposed variation of condition 2 of planning permission 163094 (Proposed change of use of shop to two flats and new dormer window to south elevation) minor changes to layout and change from Dormer to roof extension.

Hereford shops are slowly disappearing and Herefordshire Council are often granting these plans. We will attempt to start highlighting each of these applications to show the scale of this trend from the Council.

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How plans were passed in Eign Street for this lot previously is beyond comprehension, how is this in keeping with the surrounding area? These buildings bricked up look horrendous! 

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I see this happening all the time, good to see this article, soon these NEW residents will be complaining about noise or something coming from their retail neighbours no doubt.

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That newsagents (closed for some time) has a very low ceiling. It is not very fit, in it's current state, to reopen as a shop. I would sooner it was turned in to housing as opposed to it opening up as a dodgy tobacco outlet. SuperSam is next door tho so I suppose that might be why it has been vacant for ages ...... 

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20 hours ago, K.Butt said:

I see this happening all the time, good to see this article, soon these NEW residents will be complaining about noise or something coming from their retail neighbours no doubt.

Soon there will be no shops and then wait for the moaning, personally, I do not think change of use of many if these shops should be granted, it is a shopping retail area, there are plenty of places around for flats, this will end up being bedsits, you mark my words

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Another application went in last weeks for the storage building next to and back of British Heart Foundation shop in Commercial Street to be turned into a HMO.

https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/info/200142/planning_services/planning_application_search/details?id=190882&search-term=registered in the last 7 days&search-service=recent&search-source=items&search-item=registered in the last 7 days

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That one is horrific - 12 rooms, reminds me of a factory farm. Lots of points don't comply with Building Regs either(not that that stops Planning).

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6 hours ago, Bill Thomas said:

Soon there will be no shops and then wait for the moaning, personally, I do not think change of use of many if these shops should be granted, it is a shopping retail area, there are plenty of places around for flats, this will end up being bedsits, you mark my words

The evidence seems to suggest we have too many shops. We either have empty shops or they are turned into a barbers or charity shop. In contrast we have a housing crisis. So I'm never gonna put up too much of an argument to defend change of use planning applications in most circumstances. 

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On 23/03/2019 at 22:36, Roger said:

The evidence seems to suggest we have too many shops. We either have empty shops or they are turned into a barbers or charity shop. In contrast we have a housing crisis. So I'm never gonna put up too much of an argument to defend change of use planning applications in most circumstances. 

We do Roger.
Was OK back in the good old days to have some 300 + shops 

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Years ago this city had an excessive number of shoe shops and building societies.  Now its nail bars, barbers and multi national convienance shops (plus looks like a number of massage parlours are popping up across the city centre as well). Converting closed business premises to houses/flats does ensure the city centre does not become a tumble weed gehtto 

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Another example of the city shrinking and becoming more residential:

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Change of use of vacant office space to residential with addition of a new floor at roof level.

Broad St application HERE

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Here is another change of use application, this one is for multi-occupancy home.

Planning Application P190882/F

On 27/03/2019 at 14:53, twowheelsgood said:

More akin to factory farm than a home - how much lower are we going to sink?

Approved, despite considered objections from the City Council, Civic Society and the Ward Councillor, amongst others.

Edited by twowheelsgood

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This Change of Use is nothing new ...........I can recall in the early 90s the Government of the day was encouraging this change of use in Midland town centres from shops etc to flats etc. again to bring more life into the town centres

Perhaps  Twowheelgood can confirm ? 

Edited by Ubique

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9 hours ago, Ubique said:

This Change of Use is nothing new ...........I can recall in the early 90s the Government of the day was encouraging this change of use in Midland town centres from shops etc to flats etc. again to bring more life into the town centres

Perhaps  Twowheelgood can confirm ? 

I think it was 1989 when the government funded a scheme (LOTS - Living Over The Shop) to convert empty spaces above shops in town centres into homes and which ran for about 20 years. At that time, it was estimated that at least 250,000 homes could be created. It never really took off in Herefordshire - landlords didn't want tenants above their shops, the Council didn't want it, just because, (same old) and arguably there was little demand at that time. Times are changing, in 2012 the NPPF turned planning on its head, with a presumption in favour of sustainable development and the Federation of Master Builders realising there was money to be made by converting the High Street.

The latest proposal in Hereford is the new planning application to convert Peacocks in Eign Gate to university accommodation with teaching space on the ground floor.

Edited by twowheelsgood

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On 06/04/2019 at 16:08, Mr Trimble said:

Years ago this city had an excessive number of shoe shops and building societies.  Now its nail bars, barbers and multi national convienance shops (plus looks like a number of massage parlours are popping up across the city centre as well). Converting closed business premises to houses/flats does ensure the city centre does not become a tumble weed gehtto 

There has to be a saturation point for the number of hair cutting outlets in the City Centre. You can only cut so much hair. 'Overheads' obviously an issue. Pun intended. 

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