A VICTORIAN building in Newport city centre could be redeveloped to provide 18 flats under plans submitted to the council.

Under the plans, the top floors of the building in Upper Dock Street would be turned into affordable housing managed by Newport City Homes.

The existing uses on the ground floor currently including a cafe, coffee shop, junk shop and amusement arcade on the corner with Skinner Street, would remain unchanged.

Previously, the first and second second floors of the building were a nightclub but they are now unused and said to be falling into disrepair.

The development would include 10 one-bedroom apartments and eight two-bedroom apartments as well as space for bin, recycling and cycle storage.

Apart from minor enhancements to the ground floor entrance areas, the proposals would have no effect on the external appearance of the late-Victorian building.

"The proposals will also provide new and much-needed affordable housing accommodation to help compensate for a severe national shortage," a design and access statement says.

"The resulting development will provide a location that is accessible and sustainable from a financial, social, transport and housing perspective, provide new homes, and bring an abandoned heritage asset into practical reuse."

Seven homes would be provided on the first floor, a similar amount on the second and the remainder on the third floor which would be within the existing roof space.

The plans include replacing the existing main staircase and front door, the addition of a lift, replacement of existing windows and changes to the roof.

A security system will also be used for access to the main entrance door.

The building, located within the Newport Town Centre Conservation Area, is believed to have originally been a potato warehouse.

Several businesses in the area have said they would welcome the increased footfall from the development, according to the application.

"By making use of an underused historic building in the heart of the city the proposal makes a significant contribution to the conservation of the built environment," the design and access statement adds.

"This development will secure the future of this building and ensure that it continues to contribute to the life of the city."

The location of the site, close to the city centre and public transport links, is also said to be suitable for the development.