Plans to create 10 smaller flats above shops in the middle of Hereford have been approved.

Manbro Developments had applied for permission to convert the upper two floors of 57 Commercial Street, currently The Works, and 58, previously Boots Opticians and currently vacant, along with the adjacent 3 St Peters Close – the latter requiring listed building consent, now also granted.

Accessed from the pedestrianised main street through a new lobby and stairwell at number 58, the flats would have parking for cycles only.


The council’s highways officer did not object to the plan, so long as proposed cycle storage space in the lobby was kept for that purpose.

Its buildings conservation officer also pressed for a requirement that details of the external joinery work to the building be approved first.

A further condition of the planning approval requires at least four swift nesting boxes to be installed, “to ensure biodiversity net gain”.


There was no objection either from the city council or the public.

Planning officer Ollie Jones concluded that the plan “would re-use redundant upper floor space within a highly sustainable location”, and “would provide a viable use for the group of buildings, enhancing its overall appearance”.

The flats, all but one of which would be single-bedroom, would range in size from 37 to 69 square metres – meaning they would “broadly fall below” the suggested sizes set out in the Government’s nationally described space standards.

“But these have not been adopted by Herefordshire Council and hence do not form part of policy,” Mr Jones said; nor would the development be subject to affordable housing requirements.