PLANS to convert a Victorian property in Newport city centre into apartments have been submitted.

If approved, the upstairs floors of Highbury Chambers, which occupies 6-10 Skinner Street, will be given a new lease of life.

Currently, the upper three floors are vacant, last used as office space.

But, should the new plans be given the green light, this space will be transformed into six residential apartments.

The plans would not see any changes to the ground floor retailers, which includes a William Hill bookmakers, the Dragon Doner Kebab takeaway, and two empty spaces, including the former Boomers Indian takeaway.

What's more, the historic frontage would remain largely unchanged too.

The plans have been submitted by Kennedy James Griffiths on behalf of the applicant, MVR Solutions Ltd.

However, should the plans go ahead, the properties would be operated by building owners Newport City Homes, who said that this proposal is “an ideal way of meeting both demand for social housing and city centre living in Newport”.

This application joins a separate, pre-existing application to convert the upper floors of 11-13 Skinner Street into apartments, too.

But, while the two applications have been submitted separately, they are being considered as one when it comes to affordable housing, with four properties across the developments being earmarked for this purpose.

And, according to the applicant, “the vacant spaces are beginning to fall into disrepair and are at risk of further decline if a suitable use cannot be found.”

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What do plans show?

According to documents, Highbury Chambers is a Grade II listed property, which dates back to 1892.

In 2000, Cadw granted it listed status, citing its “well-preserved late Victorian commercial development” as the reason.

It is not known for how long the upstairs space has been empty, but, under the new proposals, this could be set to change.

Subject to approval, six flats would be built, with two on each floor.

These would all be two bedroom properties, suitable for up to four residents each.

While no major changes are proposed for the ground floor, some changes to the recycling and cycle storage to the rear are proposed.

The existing retail units will also be refurbished – in a bid to see the empty ones let.

Plans for Highbury Chambers are available to view and comment upon on the Newport City Council planning website here.