A NOT-for-profit housing group has applied to build 77 flats at the former council offices in Bath Street, Hereford.

Herefordshire Housing wants to build the one and two bed apartments- 49 would be available for private rent and 28 would be social rent.

The planning application, which has been sent in to Herefordshire Council, highlights which part of the buildings would be demolished.

The red brick frontage seen from Bath Street will be kept but buildings towards the back of the site will be demolished.

In the design statement, written by Architype, it says: "The design proposes the demolition of a substantial proportion of the existing buildings, though proposes to retain the more aesthetically distinctive elements of existing buildings that contribute to the existing street scene on Bath Street.

"The layout and quantity of existing buildings would not provide sufficient accommodation to deliver an economically viable development of the site and would require significant upgrades and remodelling to overcome awkward layouts and issues with existing building fabric.

"The design proposes a viable use for the remaining elements of the existing buildings and will contribute towards ensuring that they have a positive

future use as residential buildings and safeguarding their contribution to Bath Street and the city."

The buildings on the site have been vacant since 2014 although the grounds are currently used for council staff car parking during the week and public car parking at the weekend.

The planning application proposes 77 car parking spaces.

The design and access statement also said that agents noted a shortage of two bed properties in the rental market.

It adds: "Hereford exhibits demand characteristics for housing at a variety of different levels within the market.

"The demand profile is strong from those who already live and work locally and the retirement market appears less pronounced than in other areas of the county.

"The assessment highlights the particular need within the county for affordable housing in Hereford, with a recommended split of 30 percent one bed dwellings, 34 percent two bed dwellings, 32 percent three bed dwellings and 4 percent 4+ bed dwellings.

"The development will contribute towards these deficits through the provision of one bed and two bed affordable rental apartments.

"Due to the limitations of this urban site, larger dwellings have not been considered a viable contribution to the housing mix."

Herefordshire Housing Group is a not-for-profit group which provides home and support services to people across Herefordshire and the surrounding counties.

The proposal makes use of the two existing vehicular access points and good pedestrian connections.