Plans submitted to turn Bucks Council offices in Aylesbury into new flats

Plans have been submitted to overhaul these offices, but no affordable housing will be provided.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 3:43 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd April 2021, 12:11 pm

Plans to convert the disused office building of the former County Council into new flats have been submitted – but no affordable housing will be provided.

Bucks Council seeks permission for the “change of use, conversion and extension” of the former County Council offices, on Walton Street, in Aylesbury, to provide 46 new flats.

The scheme will consist of 27 one-bed and 18 two-bed flats, and a studio. There will also be some associated landscaping and 15 off-street parking spaces.

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The scheme’s viability has been assessed and “the case has been demonstrated that no affordable housing or other financial contributions can be provided,” according to council documents.

“The scheme cannot afford the provision of any amount of affordable housing, either by way of on-site provision or off-site financial contribution,” it states. And while it would enable “the acceptable reuse and retention of an existing vacant building which is a non-designated heritage asset”, the proposal would also “result in less than substantial harm” to the asset.

However, the “public benefit of approval outweigh the identified harm”, the report states. Aylesbury Town Council have objected because the studio flat “would not meet the minimum size regulations”, and because there is no affordable housing. They also have ‘crime prevention concerns’.

While The Aylesbury Society questioned whether more flats are needed given “the number of empty units on the market in the town centre”. Two letters from the public express concern about the construction period’s impact on neighbours.

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On balance the scheme is deemed “acceptable”, the report states. It is recommended the application be deferred for approval, subject to ‘appropriate conditions’.