More town centre offices will be turned into flats.

The developer who applied for permission to turn the upper two storeys above a shop front at 103 and 104 Commercial Road into 10 apartments has been given the go ahead.

But the company, 104 Commercial Road Ltd, did have to downgrade their plans to 10 from 12 units after objections from the highways authority and the local parish council.

The original plans put forward saw four flats on the first floor, six studio apartments on the upper floor and another two at the rear of the ground floor behind the shop.

But South Swindon Parish Council said: “The studio flats are too small and do not meet standards and there is insufficient space allowed for cycle parking and bins.

The council’s highways officer was also concerned by the lack of cycle storage: “This area is accessed from the front of the building through a number of doors, which is unsuitable in order to access the cycle storage area with a bicycle. This area can also be accessed from the rear, however this contains a number of steps and again is unsuitable to be accessed with a bicycle, unless means such as a ramp is introduced.”

Following those objections, the two ground floor studio apartments were removed from the plans, and the bicycle and bin store area increased in size.

The company’s agent Tony Allen of Allen Planning wrote to the council saying the public had never been allowed upstairs above the shop, which is leased by Wise Employment agency.

He likened the situation to that of a bank, where spaces above the ground floor public areas were in effect private.

Workers and shoppers in Commercial Road had mixed views on how popular they thought the flats would be.

Linda Ricketts, 64, said: “It’s not the prettiest of buildings. And this road isn’t the prettiest either. I don’t think I’d want to live here, but then I’m not really the target market for it. I don’t know whether many people will want to live up there, but It’s probably worth a try - and it f it’s empty space is quite a good use of it.”

Tyler Cobb, 23, was more enthusiastic: “I’d quite fancy a little one bedroom flat there. There’s such a need for housing in Swindon for younger people. I live in a shared house and it’s all right but I’d really like a place of my own.

“I think turning empty offices into flats is a good idea. We need much more housing for younger people and this would work in this area near shops and bars.”