Plans for the conversion of Sandown’s former town hall, in Grafton Street, into nine dwellings and a community hall with two semi-detached houses at the rear of the building have taken a major step forward.
A revised planning application has been submitted taking account of community comments received when the project was first advertised. Local residents have campaigned about the need to attract much needed investment into the town and raised concerns over buildings that have not been maintained, with some now in a state of severe disrepair.
The old town hall was built in 1869 and is one of the few listed buildings in Sandown. It once housed the old fire station and a youth centre and was recently home to Sandown Town Council. The new plans include converting the existing building into nine flats and two houses, with the hall itself retained for community use. A new heritage, access and design statement has also been submitted.
Sandown South councillor Ian Ward said: “’I have continued to champion the cause of attracting appropriate inward investment and am delighted to see this proposal has been revised to take account of many of the views expressed by myself and the community. The development will also fit in with the street scene.
“In addition to these plans we’ve also seen progress on the Pier Street project, opposite the pier, the completion of the Premier Inn Hotel on the seafront, the near completion of the former Wight City development, the pending compulsory purchase of the derelict building at the junction of Fitzroy Street and Station Avenue, and the Beachfield Road developments all progressing to plan.
“It’s only when you look at the progress made can you realise how much change there has been. As well as the investments secured at Sandham, and other locations in the town, and, hopefully, the Town Hall initiative can maintain the momentum – recognizing the uncertainties that the pandemic has created.”