Flats plan raises concerns
Councillor believes people living nearby will not support it
A FORMER post and sorting office dating back to the 1930s will be converted into student flats, if planning permission is granted.
The developer, Mango PlanningandDevelopment, had previously proposed turning the building in West Drayton town centre into 10 shops, but those plans were withdrawn.
Now the firm wants to create 29 en-suite student rooms, each with its own kitchenette, at the listed building at the corner of Station Road and Swan Road.
Councillor Dominic Gilham, (Cons) West Drayton ward, said those living nearby were unlikely to support the plans.
He said: “I do not expect it to be welcomed by local people. To change the actual usage from retail to residential – once it’s changed it doesn’t change back.”
He added: “This is a retail unit on the high street. Personally, I would like it to remain in retail use.”
The building is currently occupied by Neat Autos, but the car parts wholesaler is scheduled to move out shortly.
said the property is unlikely to attract new tenants, and has now applied to Hillingdon Council for permission to convert the building into 17 rooms for those studying at Brunel University and elsewhere, as well as a communal living room, kitchen and laundry.
A further 12 student rooms would be created on the first floor.
The developer said that under its plans the building’s appearance would remain intact, with the exterior changing only minimally.
In documents lodged with Hillingdon Council, the company sais: “The existing tenants are due to relocate shortly to other premises and the building in its current form is unlikely to attract new tenants/uses. Moreover it is likely to deteriorate if left empty.
“The building therefore needs to evolve, particularly to reflect the refocusing of the retail core away from this outer edge of the town centre.”
The original plans, which involved converting the property into 10 retail units and eight flats, were withdrawn earlier this year.
A planning committee is scheduled to rule on the new plans on Tuesday, December 16.