A GRADE II listed former Flintshire village courthouse can be transformed into a trio of duplex apartments as plans have been given the go-ahead.

Flintshire Council’s planning department has approved proposals for the old courthouse on Glynne Way in Hawarden, which will be converted from office space into residential use.

The building dates back to 1886 and was Grade II listed in November 1994, along with the adjoining former police station.

It formerly featured cells and a court room but has been vacant for years. The building has also been used by Hawarden Council as offices and a staff social club.

A design and access statement drawn up by agents McCormick Architecture, stated that prior to the application talks took place with Flintshire Council - with a view to potentially helping ease pressure on the authority’s waiting list of families needing homes.

It said: “The proposal is to convert the existing two storey office accommodation into three, two-bed duplex apartments.

“The duplex units will therefore all have a ground floor entrance and living accommodation with sleeping accommodation at first floor.”

Concerns about a lack of parking had been flagged up during consultation on the plans and the maximum requirement of five spaces to provide car parking spaces for residents and visitors is unavailable, with no scope for increasing the available parking on site.

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But the planning officer’s report noted the site is in the centre of the village with both car parks and public transport options available nearby.

The report states: “It is likely that the proposal to convert from office use to residential use will significantly reduce the car parking pressure on the area from its current permitted use, were it to be reoccupied and reused as office space, which it could without the need for planning permission.

“Hawarden is considered to be a sustainable location, having good public transport connections within easy walking distance including regular bus and train services, and having a wide range of shops and services including schools, doctors, dentists, churches, library, post office and pharmacy.

“As such, this reduces pressures of needing a vehicle to access these services. The applicant also makes the point that the small size of the proposed duplex units also indicates that low car ownership and numbers will be likely.”

The plans are also compliant with Flintshire Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP).

“The proposal represents an appropriate and sympathetic reuse of a listed building and conversion of an underused office space to residential units”, the planning officer report states.

“The proposal is acceptable in policy terms and is recommended for approval.”

Approval was signed off by Flintshire Council’s chief planning officer Andrew Farrow in a delegated decision.