Plans to transform the Wallingford council building on St Martins Street into flats to provide the council with an extra income have been approved.

The council is set to change the use of the first and second floor from office space to residential use.

The historic building sits within the Wallingford Conservation Area, however because the plans will only be making ‘discrete and sympathetic’ changes to the external façade of the building the plans have been given the go-ahead.

No changes will be made to the shops on the ground floor, but the council will be moving to new premises.

Wallingford Town council hope that this major change will bring in some money to pay for multiple projects which are set to cost the council millions.

Wallingford Mayor Lee Upcraft said: “The council recently confirmed that we will move out of our offices and we have planning permission to convert our offices into flats as a means of raising some money to invest in various projects.”

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These ‘various projects’ include plans to regenerate the Regal Centre which was originally set to cost £3m.

However, the Regal Centre plans are now considered to be ‘unaffordable’ because the council has ‘a lot on its plate’.

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Mr Upcraft said the council plans to spend at least £1m on the Town Hall and another million on the ruins in the castle gardens.

Facilities in the Bullcroft are set to be regenerated, the new pavilion and children’s play area will cost the council £2m.

In the design and access statement on the planning application on the South Oxfordshire Council website it explains the council also wish to move offices to improve access facilities.

It states: “The Town Council wish to relocate their offices to a building with improved access and facilities and to convert the existing office space to residential.

“This will provide the Council with an income to fund their move and further support their activities, to the benefit of local residents.”

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The design and access statement also reveals what the new flats could look like.

The plans propose to provide ‘high quality residential accommodation within the constraints of the existing building envelope’.

The first floor only requires internal alterations, but the second floor will need to add windows, so the flats have natural light.

The new windows will match the first floor and the design and access statement suggest it is ‘to provide the simplest and most elegant solution and doesn’t detract from the existing character of the building’.