Ashfield District Council to decide if its leader can turn former shop into flat

Councillor Jason Zadrozny
By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter

Ashfield District Council’s planning committee will be asked to approve plans lodged by its political leader to change the use of a shop into a flat.

Cllr Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), leader of the authority, has submitted the plans to his own council for the property at 33 High Street, Stanton Hill.

Cllr Zadrozny wants to convert an existing shop with a flat above into a building with flats on both floors.

No written objections or supporting letters have been lodged either against or in favour of the plans.

Papers reveal the property would be changed to remove the shop front and replace it with two windows. These would serve a combined lounge, dining room and kitchen.

Brickwork on the building would also be rendered, while a flat roof to the rear of the building would be replaced with a Velux window.

In documents, due before the committee on Wednesday, June 14, the council says works to the property would “be acceptable” and “would not have a detrimental impact on … the character” of the area.

The planning department confirms each flat would have two bedrooms and a shower room.

The ground floor flat would have a combined kitchen, living room and dining room, while the flat above would have a separate kitchen and living space.

The authority added: “Overall, it is considered the proposal would not result in a detrimental impact on neighbouring properties and provides an acceptable level of amenities for future and existing occupiers.”

The property Cllr Jason Zadrozny wants to convert, at 33 High Street, Stanton Hill. Credit Google Maps

One off-street parking space exists at the site of the property, while the site is close to a bus stop serving Stanton Hill high street.

The council says converting the ground floor from a shop to a flat is “likely to reduce the number of vehicles expected at the property”, alongside a reduction in “comings and goings”.

It adds: “Due to the site’s location close to amenities and other sustainable means of transport, and taking into account its previous use, it’s considered that the lack of off-street parking would not result in a detrimental impact on highway safety or the capacity of the highway network.

“On balance, the proposed development is considered to be acceptable.”

The committee, which is made up entirely of Ashfield Independent councillors due to the political balance of the council, is recommended to approve the scheme.

Members who feel they must declare an interest in the plans due to their connections with Cllr Zadrozny – including the council leader himself – will likely be asked to leave the chamber and will not vote.

It comes after the leader had a separate planning application approved by the committee for four new homes in Kirkby.

The committee allowed Cllr Zadrozny to draw up detailed plans to build four new homes at 74 Sutton Road, Kirkby, at its meeting in March.

Councillors Zadrozny, Samantha Deakin (Ash Ind) and Rachel Madden (Ash Ind) all declared an interest and left the chamber.

This permission decided housing would be suitable and acceptable on the land, though Cllr Zadrozny must bring forward details of scale, layout, access and landscaping at a later date.

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