A MAJOR development providing 362 apartments in Warrington town centre is to go ahead – despite a lack of affordable homes in the scheme.
Members of the borough council’s development management committee gave the £56 million scheme the green light after a lengthy debate – part of which was held in private.
The eight –storey block will be built in Winwick Street, near its junction with John Street and close to Warrington Central Station.
Councillors had hoped the scheme could have included affordable homes but after discussions held in private, it was accepted this would not be possible.
The scheme will involve the demolition of existing buildings on the site and will consist of two buildings – the eight-storey apartment block and a nine-storey multi-storey car park which will be available for public use.
Three listed buildings are close by, the Boulting building, the Kings Head public house and the Cheshire Lines warehouse – as well as a number of locally listed buildings. But these will not be affected.
The apartment block will comprise of a mix of 253 one and 98 two bed apartments, eight two-bed duplexes and three four bed duplexes. They will all be available for private rent.
Three entrances from John Street and another off Central Way will provide access to the building.
Retail units and a café will be included on the ground floor – with an external seating area adjoining the café.
The application was approved on condition that the development includes a sprinkler system on fire safety grounds.
The development is being carried out by Property development specialist, The High Street Group of Companies.
The site was purchased, on a subject to planning approval deal, from local property owner, Bob McLaughlin, who said he was delighted that the project could now contribute further to Warrington’s redevelopment.
The scheme is only one of three that The High Street Group has in progress in the North West.
It already has planning consent for a £26 million, nine storey, 127 home complex -including town houses and apartments – in Salford, close to Middlewood Locks, where building is expected to commence this summer, while proposals for a £28 million, ten storey, 156 unit project in Trafford, Manchester are well advanced.
Chairman Gary Forrest commented: “We are delighted to have secured planning consent for Warrington. It is a great place to invest and we will be creating high quality living spaces, future proofed through the use of the latest smart technologies.
“This style of living is becoming the choice of young professionals and we anticipate increasing our investment levels by around £200 million per year for several years to come.
“Our developments offer extremely attractive investment opportunities for institutional and individual investors who can enjoy capital growth and steady income streams. These are non-volatile, high quality assets offering attractive, long term returns, which we can maximise for our partners.”