WHITCHURCH could soon have a new High Street shopping arcade and apartments if plans are approved.

A proposal has been submitted to Shropshire Council to convert the former Poundstretcher store in High Street to a number of smaller shops, with nearly 20 apartments to also be built on the site.

The plans have been submitted by GWP Architecture, who say in the design statement the proposals will involve the remodelling and renovation of the existing building.

The design statement adds: "Works would involve the refurbishment of the existing glazed retail façade and the retrofit of the ground floor level to provide a retail arcade which would provide space for small independent retail units.

"Servicing of the retail units is provide from a delivery access off St Mary's Street.

"It is proposed that the upper level of the building would be remodelled to provide residential apartments, with a rooftop extension over to provide additional units.

"A new build extension to the northeast would provide residential units over three storeys, as well as incorporating cycle and bin stores for residents and an electric car club parking area as an under-croft.

"The footprint of the extension aims to respond to the neighbouring properties and their outlook, in an attempt to limit potential for overlooking and overshadowing.

"New external amenity space for residents is incorporated adjacent to the proposed residential access off St. Mary's Street."

In the pre-application report, Richard Denison, technical specialist planning officer at Shropshire Council, raised some concerns about the scale of the project.

He said: "We do have some concern regarding the scale of the proposed development in certain areas and consider that a four-storey building will be too dominant in the street scenes.

"St Mary's Street and St John's Street in particular and will be overpowering to the other heritage assets surrounding the site."

He added that although the idea for the plans were supported, they would likely not be approved in their current state without alterations.

"The provision of ground floor retail with upper floors being allocated for residential apartments is supported in principle," he added.

"However, the 3D visualisations provided in your supporting statement appear to provide a significant block of development close up to boundaries and would appear at odds to the un-uniform style of the surrounding buildings, roof heights and designs.

"The layout and scale as proposed would appear to dominant the street scene and historic character of the adjacent buildings and Conservation Area.

"The proposal would appear overdevelopment resulting in potential impact on the amenity of residents and business premises, together with providing inadequate open space, refuse/personal storage and delivery area.

"On this basis the proposed development as indicated would not be supported by officers and a significant reduction would be required regarding the layout, scale and design of the proposed scheme."