Verge stands in way of apartments plan

The property on Church Street
The property on Church Street
Share this article

A bid to transform a city centre property into apartments and restaurant may have to be ‘tweaked’ because of a dispute over a grass verge.

Council officers are considering the application for the three-storey Church Street building that would include six upper-floor apartments.

If approved, the plan would also see the current street-level shop turned into an open-plan restaurant.

However, a council department has indicated it will oppose the plans because of an access issue at the rear of the site.

Documents submitted to the town hall reveal the new dwellings would have access from Hammond’s Row that would require the demolition of a rear boundary wall.

But the plans include placing an access road over an unadopted grass verge, the detail not supported by officers.

A letter responding to the proposal from property manager John Wiggins, reads: “The council owns the grass verge which is shown as key to the proposed vehicular access to the rear of the development, and upon which a new Tarmaced driveway is shown.

"The council will be objecting on the basis that there are no existing rights across our land, and that the development should be redesigned to exclude access or any other use or occupation of our land.”

Unadopted status means the council does not hold the responsibility for maintaining the land in question but keeps ownership rights.

Developers MM Architectural Design says the scheme “would bring about good quality living accommodation whilst making effective use of an existing building in need of refurbishment.”