Council set to approve department store apartment plans

Erewash Borough Council has approved the conversion of the upper floors of Ilkeston's former Co-op store.
Erewash Borough Council has approved the conversion of the upper floors of Ilkeston's former Co-op store.

Erewash Borough Council is set to consider final plans for converting a former Ilkeston department store into a residential apartment complex.

The proposals to create 69 new homes in the old Co-Op building on South Street will be reexamined by the council’s planning committee at a meeting on Wednesday, March 15.

Officers are recommending councillors approve plans for internal alterations to the first and second floors of the building, and external roof extensions and additional and replacement windows.

Plans for the conversion have passed through several stages since the store closed in 2013.

The application was last presented before the committee in December 2016 with an officer recommendation to refuse planning permission over inadequate lighting for the development’s interior.

However members resolved to defer a decision to allow for further negotiations with the applicant, and any concerns appear to have been satisfied by reflective tunnels which will carry natural light into the building.

The application has received one outstanding objection, citing a lack of detail on energy efficiency, affordability and a preference to restore town centre retail space.

The site sits within the Ilkeston Town Centre Conservation Area and on the advice of heritage experts, windows will restore Art Deco period style to the building’s facade.

Works will also create car parking space and a residents’ gym—in addition to the commercial gym currently on the ground floor.

While the creation of new homes typically requires developers to make a contribution to primary school places, sustainable transport and open space provision, and ensure ten per cent affordable housing, this requirement has been waived.

A council study has found that the project would be unviable if such conditions were attached. If approved, the developer would be required to begin work within three years.

For full details of the application, see http://bit.ly/2mxkDXj.