Plans are afoot to breathe new life into one of Rugby town centre’s biggest derelict buildings.
The site, on Regents Street in the Independent Quarter, has been empty since 2005, but has now been bought by a Rugby-based developer who has submitted plans to convert the ground floor into three retail units and the upper floors into nine flats.
Mike O’Connor, owner of J Parriss Jewellers on Regent Street, said: “I think it’s great news for this part of Rugby - the building has been empty for some time and has been the focal point of much discussion among businesses in Rugby’s independent quarter - it’s the only eyesore in this part of town.
“It’s an attractive building in one of the nicest parts of Rugby and I think turning it into three retail units and the residential units above are the ideal developments to do it justice.”
Bev Thomas of Etcetera in Regent Street added: “I’ve traded opposite that building for so long that I’m delighted that there are now plans for it. I only hope that the floor units will be shops and not offices because more shops is what this part of town needs.”
According to the planning documents the building has been empty since 2005 and has since been used by squatters, with some vandalism taking place.
A design statement by Rugby’s HB Architects said: “We conclude that the building is effectively retained better in its original condition and Planning Policies are in place which support the proposal.
“The building, as a Listed Building, is acknowledged as an important part of the Regent Street retail frontage and all efforts should be made to ensure that the proposal can go ahead at the earliest opportunity.”
According to the planning application the company behind the investment is Goldleaf Property Investments of Clifton Road, Rugby.