PLANS to turn an empty office in Wrexham into flats have been given the green light after window-less bedroom concerns were addressed.

Members of Wrexham Council’s planning committee raised concerns in April about the town centre development that was set to take over the former Slater and Gordon law firm building.

The building has stood empty for more than three years after the legal firm closed the branch in 2018.

The brakes were applied after concerns over the design for new homes put forward would limit the amount of natural daylight that occupants would benefit from in the bedrooms of the proposed properties.

The ideas were tweaked in order to include ‘conventional windows’ in every bedroom of the development. A report given to planning officers adds that this will be the case for ‘all other habitable rooms’.

The council were also told that the development will be reduced from five flats down to four.

When planning officials met on Monday, May 10, they approved the changes to the design of the building.

The site layout was also amended – changing the proposed bin stores location. Councillors were informed that new plans will see the waste storage units situated towards the back of the site.

At the meeting, Cllr Paul Pemberton gave his thanks to developers for seeing ‘common sense’, adding that the design choice to remove windows was akin to a ‘prison cell’.

Thanks were expressed by area member Cllr Marc Jones that his council colleagues helped secure the changes needed.

He said: “I think the speedy and positive response from the developer suggests that they already had a fall-flat alternative. Its good that they’ve seen the light.

“The committee made the right call in ensuring our planning guidelines were applied regardless of whether they are in the town centre or not.

“I think the point that was made last time by planning officers was that, unless we drop our standards then we won’t get buildings in the town centre repurposed – that is clearly not the case from today’s decision. It should never be an excuse to cut corners and reduce standards.

“I’m really grateful we stuck to our guns and a lesson should be learnt from this. Tenants in the private sector deserve to have the same standard, regardless of where their houses are.”

Plans were unanimously approved by members of the committee.