Student flats plan for Wigan town centre landmark

The upper floors of a listed building in a prominent town centre location could be converted into student accommodation.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 1:08 pm
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 2:13 pm
The impressive building on Wallgate

A developer has submitted plans to the town hall for 30-32 Wallgate in Wigan with a proposed layout of up to 20 rooms.

The Grade II listed building used to be the Royal Bank of Scotland but now houses the Salvation Army charity shop on the ground floor with the conversion just relating to the floors above.

As a result of the building’s heritage status, the applicant – Wallgate Property Ltd – has requested listed building consent in addition to the change of use bid from former offices.

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A design statement submitted to council planners says the building “has been deteriorating and something needs to be done. The business sector has moved from this area of the town and therefore there is no interest in this type of development,” it adds.

Access to the accommodation will be from a staircase that opens onto Wallgate in the middle of Wigan town centre.

The developer will work in conjunction with town hall conservation officers on restoring the building’s frontage.

The design statement reads: “The size of the building and the difficult access precludes many types of development. There is a need in the town for student accommodation and this building is ideal for conversion to this use. Its position in the town centre is also a plus factor.”

The town hall has set a decision target date of January 14 for the plans.

The application reflects the changing face of our town centres. With declining need for shops, housing is now being proposed as one of the viable alternatives.