Fresh flats plans for factory site
Developers have resubmitted plans to turn a former shoe factory into 255 student flats.
The project to convert the grade II-listed Fiveways House building in Tudor Road, Leicester, was first proposed eight years ago.
The developer Key Homes Fund has now put in another planning application and says if it receives permission from the council it could have the work completed by August next year.
Company spokesman Andrew Wallace said: "The scheme was put on hold due to the economic climate plus the process of negotiating with Leicester City Council. Having to carefully consider the detail of the project played a part, too."
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The development, believed to cost about £16 million, includes studio flats, a landscaped courtyard, gym, games room and small pool.
Mr Wallace said the development would have to adhere to planning restrictions and would keep original features from the factory.
He said: "The building is grade II-listed and, as such, all structural elements of the building have to be respected.
"The external elevations need to be retained, as well as the overall volume and height."
MIA Development was given permission for the development on the site, the former Threads shoe factory, in 2004, but did not start the work.
The company submitted altered plans in 2008, but after concerns from residents regarding parking and noise, a city council planning committee refused the application.
In 2010, the company won an appeal against that decision, but the project still did not go ahead because of a lack of funding.
The latest application is from the same company, now under a different name.
Civic Society chairman Stuart Bailey said: "It's been quite a hoo-ha over the years with nothing much really happening to the building.
"I believe that you need to find a use for unused buildings like Fiveways House, but you also need to retain the industrial heritage.
"The council dismissed the plans once and lost when the developer appealed, but it shouldn't be afraid to deny the application again if it feels the designs are not up to standard – it has a responsibility to retain the factory's heritage."
Alina Kharel, 21, who lives in Tudor Road, directly opposite the site, said: "I think it's good that they're doing something with it, it's been like that for too long."
Husband Ravi, 24, said: "It is good that something is happening, but parking is going to be really bad with all those extra cars.
"It's bad enough because people use Tudor Road to park and walk into town and you don't get any space left for residents."
Another male resident, 58, who asked not to be named, said: "I live just up the road and it's been untouched for a very long time.
"It's brilliant architecture and I hope whatever they do keeps some of the original look. Parking will be an issue though.
"If you've plans for 255 flats, you've got to assume there's going to be 255 cars – and it's already chocker around here."