PLANS FOR FORMER HMRC OFFICE ON COLLEGE STREET APPROVED

Plans to make alterations to the former HMRC building on College Street to enable it to be turned into apartments have bene approved.



It was reported last year that plans to create apartments at the site had been approved. A follow-up application was submitted earlier this year to the council seeking permission to make external alterations for the development. A design and access statement said: "DLP Planning have been instructed by Empire Property Concepts Ltd to submit a full planning application for external alterations at Crown Buildings, St Helens".


The proposed development includes replacing all existing windows with double-glazed units. On the side facing the nearby car wash, secondary glazing is proposed after a Noise Assessment Impact. Coloured blanking panels are proposed, yellow for the ground floor, signal orange for the first floor, red for the second floor and wine red for the third. Other alterations include new glazed entrances and postbox systems in place of the current entrance. The amendments to the building have been approved by council planners. Crown Buildings, a former tax credits office on College Street, St Helens, was purchased by London based property developer, HJ Collection.


They are looking to to offer 112 "high-end" one and two-bedroom apartments at the site, which has increasingly become an eyesore since the tax office shut down. The site, currently being developed in partnership with proven Northern construction firm, Empire Property Concepts has not been without COVID restrictions. But the developer says that still, works continued where possible and have now fully recommenced on-site as the appointed architects updated the development plans and building regulations to commence the next phase of the build.


The former HMRC office, which closed in 2018


Crown Buildings is one of three current HJ Collection developments and is being developed alongside a commercial and residential unit in Barnsley town centre, together with a 14-apartment site in Doncaster. According to the property firm, ll developments offer the potential for both build-to-rent and buy-to-let and are being refurbished to a high standard, with key sustainable and environmentally friendly features. Reece Mennie, founder and CEO of HJ Collection, confirmed: “Despite the challenges experienced as a result of COVID-19, HJ Collection have worked hard to ensure all current developments, including the Crown Buildings, will not be impacted and will still complete on time.


"With clear plans for the council to renovate the region, our decision to invest and develop in St Helens will prove incredibly valuable, not only as we deliver promised returns to those who invested into the HJ Collection asset-backed bond, but also in offering either residents, professionals or private Landlords new, high-end apartment units on completion.”