There is a planning request to change the old Observer building into student accommodation.
One of the reasons it is not suitable for flats is the lack of parking spaces. The reason it needs several added floors is to enable it hold more students. It requires the income to be enough to make it a viable financial prospect to would-be investors.
The reason I’m writing isn’t to comment on whether or not students should reside in it.
If it happens, so be it.
What I am thinking is, if for any reason it doesn’t get permission to house students, what about the elderly?
Students aren’t the only ones who don’t own cars.
The elderly, in some instances, are quite happy to use bathrooms and toilets that are for communal use.
When you get old your priorities sometimes change.
Having a nice, bright room, that is in truth a large bed-sitting-room-kitchenette, means you don’t have to move far to cook and very little cleaning is involved.
If where you live includes heating, water and perhaps TV licence fee then there are fewer things to worry about.
If you’re close to the shops and yards from a bus route that takes you almost anywhere then not having cars is no longer a problem.
If the Observer building wanted to allocate the top floors to luxury self-contained flats then the ground level could be used as a parking area just for those. If the top of those flats had a sound-proof area then a luxury gym/fitness centre could be above them.
Add to that a roof garden with a glass covered top that slid open to reveal a blue sky or a full moon reflecting across the ocean. This area and the gym is open, by lift, to the public. Years ago, just prior to the planning permission for Priory Meadow was passed, I wrote to your paper.
If anyone remembers my idea I suggest they go inside the student building just right of the railway station, take one of the glass lifts up to the top floor and then stand and look around and down.
Use a little imagination and the bottom courtyard could almost be a garden of green?
St Michaels Place
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