Major overhaul announced for building plagued by anti-social behaviour

Stanley House with its car showroom- the subject of a planning application <i>(Image: Chain House Ltd)</i>
Stanley House with its car showroom- the subject of a planning application (Image: Chain House Ltd)

A raft of changes have been proposed for an unused office block that has become a magnet for anti-social behaviour in a Swindon trading estate.

Stanley House, located on Bramble Road in the Techno Trading Estate, is currently being used as a car showroom.

Owners Chain House Ltd, which describes its business as the “buying and selling of real estate”, have submitted plans for retrospective approval of the showroom, but also the addition of a café on the ground floor.

It means that if the plans are not removed, the showroom, currently being used by Infinity Cars, may have to be removed.

And the company says it intends to turn the four floors of offices above the showroom into flats in the future.

The company’s application says a car showroom is the best use for the ground floor to bring the building back to life.

It adds: “The main five-storey building has been vacant for the last two years and in spite of marketing, no commercial user has been found for it.

"Due to financial difficulties as a result of the building being vacant and not to miss on the opportunity/interest to rent out the ground floor for retail use, the owners of the building have commenced the refurbishment and the conversion of the ground floor.

“The conversion of the vacant ground floor ensures the longevity of this building and prevents antisocial behaviour which the building has been subject to when not occupied.”

The plans show that three-quarters of the floor space on the ground floor is given over to the car showroom.

New loading bays have been allocated at the back of the building to allow cars to be driven into the showroom.

Next to the showroom, Chain House Ltd intends to create a café.

The plans add: “The area lacks facilities, such as a café, to serve the local needs, with the only cafés within walking distance being The Dojo Coffee House and Trenchers Wiltshire.

“These cafes serve a large commercial area with a radius over half a mile.”

And as with many unused office blocks in Swindon, the developers have longer term plans for flats. The application adds: “This application will be followed by an application for the change of use of the above-ground levels to residential.

“Therefore, the site plan has been developed with the future planning application in mind.”

Comments on the application should be made by the end of Friday, October 6 on the Swindon Council planning portal, using the reference S/23/1008.