Plans to convert retail support units at Peterborough's Rivergate Arcade approved

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Plans for new flats at Rivergate Shopping Centre were first submitted in October.

Plans to convert first-floor retail support units inside Peterborough’s Rivergate Shopping Centre into flats have been approved after being resubmitted.

The proposals were to turn the vacant units into self-contained residential studio flats of various sizes between 39 square metres to 53 square metres for one or two occupants.

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Prior approval consent for the 13 new flats was originally rejected in October with officers citing unacceptable noise levels and a lack of light natural light; neither concerns could be fully investigated due to the fact that the previously-approved skylights had not been installed.

The Rivergate shopping centre.The Rivergate shopping centre.
The Rivergate shopping centre.

Savills, which submitted the application on behalf of The Bank of New York Mellon (International) Limited, of London, was originally advised that as the sky lights had not been installed approval could not be secured during a prior approval application.

The council, following the receipt of legal advice, dismissed this as not being legally vaild.

Further legal advice from the applicant has confirmed that the condition could indeed be legally obtained and therefore the council’s basis was “misconceived.”

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The council acknowledged this and advised the applications be fully resubmitted along with an updated noise assessment which considers the noise impacts with the rooflights in place should be provided.

The development has now been approved.