A TIMBER merchants in Ellesmere Port could become the site of 17 new apartments if plans are given the go-ahead.

Plans have been submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council to demolish RPV Trading on Coronation Road and redevelop the site to provide 17 apartments with a residents lounge and associated car parking and landscaping.

Developer Skye Homes is behind the proposal, and is also responsible for housing projects in the Wirral and Flintshire. It is owned by the directors of THI, who developed the Vue Cheshire Oaks Coliseum park and Odeon Wirral Leisure Land Bromborough.

A planning statement says the current owners of the land are looking to retire and close the business, amid ongoing viability issues.

Chester and District Standard:

The planned new apartment block for the RPV Trading site. Source: Planning document.

They add continued commercial use of the building is not viable without substantial renovation which would come at a cost likely to significantly outweigh future income.

Skye homes, which has an option to purchase the land, is seeking permission to develop the site for purpose-built housing to rent, with one- and two-bedroom apartments in a mix of affordable and private rental units.

The statement added: "By delivering high-quality, well-managed homes and creating new, sustainable communities, the proposed development will enhance and add variety to the housing offer in Ellesmere Port."

It added it would complement other housing developments in the town as part of the Ellesmere Port Town Centre masterplan, such as the redevelopment of the former Stanney Lane Social Club site and the former Epic Leisure Centre site.

It added that, should planning permission be granted, up to 45 new jobs would be created during the site's estimated 14-month development.

Planners warn that if a 12-month marketing exercise was taken to assess the future viability of the site for employment use, the site would fall into disrepair and "could be a hot-bed for anti-social activity which is prominent in the area".

The new development would comprise of three one-bedroom apartments and 14 two-bedroom apartments, a communal lounge and a total of 21 car parking spaces, including three electric vehicle charging spaces.

It would cater to the 'young professionals' market', with each apartment including an open-plan kitchen and living space, a separate bathroom and built-in storage. The two-bedroom apartments include a study room to help facilitate home working.

The four-storey building plan is smaller than a previous application for 37 apartments at the same site, which was submitted to the council in November 2020 but withdrawn the following July.

Highways have noted concern on the number of parking spaces being lower than the recommended 31 parking spaces for such applications. Planners say that given the sustainability of the location and the development being likely to appeal to younger tenants who are less likely to have mobility issues, it would be "considered acceptable" to provide fewer parking spaces than suggested.

Comments on the application, reference number 21/04741/FUL, can be made until January 28 by submitting them to Cheshire West and Chester Council.