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Homes plans seeks to replace March laundrette with two two-storey dwellings

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A Fenland town could be about to lose its laundrette if plans to convert into three homes gets the go-ahead.

March could soon lose its laundrette if homes plans get the go-ahead. (13351748)
March could soon lose its laundrette if homes plans get the go-ahead. (13351748)

Les Atwell, from Wisbech, has submitted an application to convert March laundrette in High Street and the two first floor flats above into three two storey houses.

A design, access and heritage statement drawn up by Brand Associates Architects in support of the proposal explains the change will enhance the appearance of the town's conservation area.

It explains the proposal will see the dwelling at the back of the laundrette will remain while the laundry facility and the flats above will be converted into two houses.

The statement says: "The dwellings have been designed as two storey houses, rather than flats, as better fire and sound separation is possible with vertical walls and they give better accommodation.

"The vertical separation also gives the opportunity to improve the front elevation by removing the launderette’s large glass windows and door and replacing them with brickwork and traditional sliding sash windows to match the first floor.

"This will enhance the appearance and character of the Conservation Area. We feel it is likely that this building was a house with sliding sash windows."

It also points out: "This is an area of generally good townscape value where any changes should respect and reflect the appearance and character of the area."

The statement claims the current laundrette frontage looks "modern" and adds: "the original building may have been a house with smaller windows."

Plans will also include replacing the existing over the archway, which gives access to the rear of the building, with a "more appropriate, traditional sliding sash window which will also enhance the conservation area."

The statement also points out that the site is in a sustainable, town centre location and says the demand for parking for the current laundrette is "very likely to be much greater than the one extra dwelling. The parking and highway safety will, therefore, be improved."

And it concludes: "The proposals aspire to quality of design and execution. The consequences of the proposals are benign or do not prejudice alternative solutions in the future."

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