Green light for Staffordshire coliving plans

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 21 September 2020

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UK: Plans to convert a former Staffordshire Moorlands mill and antiques shop into 21 coliving units have been approved.

Developer Peter Johnson had applied to convert P & J Antiques, in Chorley Mill on West Street, Leek, into one-bedroom studio apartments. The scheme was submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council last July, with the plans approved this week.

Johnson said: "We are seeking to create high end micro apartments for the benefit of the local community. Having spoken to a number of local professionals, we know Leek has a significant shortage of affordable accommodation and are seeking to respond to this by creating an exciting alternative to traditional accommodation, namely coliving. Coliving is a way of living in urban environments that is focused on community and convenience. so local people living within a community, sharing wonderfully designed shared spaces, with the comfort of 'retreating' to their own fully furnished private space at the end of the day."

"In addition, the Mill will have views of the Peak District, from the first and second floors. We provide everything anyone needs to make the most of living within a busy town. All bills are included: rent, superfast internet, all utilities and taxes, with room cleaning if required," he added.

In their report approving the scheme, planning officers at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council said: "It appears that the recent past business occupants have been able to find alternative locations and certainly there are no longer any current users save for the owners who are winding down their business. The building is in need of significant renovation and is sub-optimal as a space for modern day light industry such that the necessary investment may be considered unlikely to be forthcoming. As a prominent and historically significant building in the Leek Conservation Area there is an added imperative to secure the necessary repair and renovation of the building and a viable future use. Having accepted the loss of the employment use, a residential use can readily be accepted given the ‘sustainable’ town centre location."

It added: "Subject to limiting the total occupancy to 21 individuals as put forward in the application and subject to a range of further conditions it can be accepted that the scheme is supportable in accordance with the adopted Local Plan."

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