New life planned for Newport learning centre as apartment block

A FORMER community learning centre in Newport could be transformed into an apartment building under plans submitted to the local authority.

The Victorian red-brick building in Charles Street was built around 1900 and first used as a school of art. It was also granted Grade II listed status by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service.

But the historic building could be converted for residential use to form 19 one and two-bed apartments across the building’s three floors and rear annexe.

“The only viable long-term use for the building was considered to be conversion to self-contained residential accommodation,” it says.

“The proposed scheme will take maximum advantage of the site’s position within this established mixed commercial and residential area to create an attractive and high quality sustainable development within the confines of the existing listed building.

“The proposal is considered to both conserve and enhance the site, ensuring the future of this Grade II listed building.”

The report adds that the use of a brownfield site would “alleviate the current pressure place on greenfield sites”.

The scheme aims to retain the character and appearance of the building, including its main hall and lecture hall, with the only external alterations being the fitting of rooflights.

Refurbishments include the removal of the modern stairlift and spiral staircase, while renovating the main hall to its “original form and appearance”.

Each of the planned apartments would have an open-plan kitchen, living and dining room, one or two bedrooms and a bathroom.

In total, four studio apartments have been proposed along with 11 one-bed and four two-bed apartments.

Due to the existing staircase leading to the top floor, two of the three one-bed flats could have split-level accommodation with mezzanine floors.

On-site parking will not be provided due to “the absence of any direct vehicular access” onto Charles Street.

In 1990, the then-Newport Borough Council approved the building of an annexe to the rear of the building to be used as an adult training centre.

Found in the Stow Hill area of the city, the building was sold for £250,000 by Paul Fosh Auctions in February last year.