Railway site revamp set for go-ahead
Plans to turn an historic Victorian railway building into shops, offices, a doctors surgery and a gym are set to be approved.
Jamie Lewis Residential had initially planned to demolish the 1890s Great Central Railway wagon repair works, next to Upperton Road, Leicester, to make room for an eight-storey student flats complex.
But the application was withdrawn and city council planners have now recommended an amended proposal be approved at a planning meeting on Wednesday – despite opposition from 298 residents.
The company wants to keep the disused wagon works and carry out a £10 million conversion.
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The plans also include the addition of a shop on the ground and first floor of the company's nearby Code student accommodation.
A proposed drive-through restaurant at the site has been scrapped.
In a report, a planning officer said: "The proposal to reuse the former CPH Thurmaston building is welcomed."
Answering resident's concerns about the affect new shops might have on surrounding businesses, the planner wrote: "I consider the proposed development would not have a significant impact on centres within the catchment area.
"The addition of an extra food store in the area would help increase customer choice."
In a statement, Jamie Lewis Residential said the revamp would make the building financially viable. The company added: "The development will positively contribute to the character and appearance of the area."
Grahame Lees, spokesman for the Leicester Victorian Society, said he preferred the revamp plans to tearing the building down.
"This use seems to be the best available at the minute."
But residents said they were worried about a loss of trade to other areas, a loss of privacy and light to neighbouring homes, and additional pressure on Upperton Road.