Plans have been submitted to convert Andover’s former job centre into flats.

Jobcentre Plus moved to Beech Hurst, the offices of Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC), in 2018, with the rest of the Crown Buildings, in London Street, remaining vacant since then. Plans have been submitted to convert the whole building into flats on a number of occasions, but these were withdrawn.

In 2020, plans to convert the upper floors to flats were approved, but the ground floor was excluded. If approved, the whole building will become residential, though two retail units facing London Street will be maintained for lease.

The building was constructed in the 1970s, and for much of that time, Andover’s Job Centre occupied the ground floor, providing advice and support to those looking for work.

After moving out in 2018, the building was vacant, and sold for a price of £2,250,000 to a developer. They had plans to convert the whole building into 46 flats under proposals submitted in 2019 but later withdrawn, following concerns being raised about ‘potentially detrimental’ noise from nearby venues.

Following this, the upper three floors were granted permission for conversion to flats in 2020 after the developer, Fairmist Homes, addressed concerns over parking for the site, with parking spaces for all flats located behind London Street off Savoy Close.

The ground floor was not involved in these proposals, with a new application submitted at the start of April. Under the plans, eight flats will be built in the rear of Crown Buildings, which will be accessed from London Street. Two retail units will be maintained for shops or offices.

To mitigate against noise from nearby venues, specific glazing will be installed to minimise sound, while car and bike parking spaces will be provided for residents.

The plans are currently being considered by TVBC, and will be decided upon following consultation. If you would like to comment on the plans, head to TVBC’s Planning Portal and search with the reference: 21/01027/FULLN