A developer who has ambitious plans to reconfigure a well-known building in the heart of Swindon’s shopping districts to create flats can go ahead.

But Moreton Investments Ltd has been told it can only build half the number of apartments it hoped.

The development company had wanted to convert the upper two storeys of the HMV building at 16-17 Regent Street - but that plan was dropped in the summer, with new plans asking permission to demolish the largely hidden top storey, and put up another two storeys.

The top floor currently houses plants such as air conditioning for the building.

Those extra floors would house four flats each: two studio flats for a single occupant and two one-bed, two-occupant apartments each. 

The company said in its application: “The new flats have been carefully designed within the building perimeters to ensure satisfactory living conditions for new residents, whilst also maintaining the amenity enjoyed by surrounding buildings.”

The ground floor would be retained as a shop area with associated storage with cycle and bin storage for the flats as well as a communal area for the flats. The first and second floor would also be communal areas for the residents of the flats.

But during negotiations with Swindon Borough Council planners that proposal was redesigned, losing the second extra storey, and cutting the number of apartments by half to four.

That revised plan has been approved by Swindon Borough Council.

The report by its planning officer said: “The proposed demolition and re-build of a larger new-build fourth storey and the creation of flats would provide four new homes in this highly sustainable town centre location, contributing to the borough’s housing supply, and bringing increased vitality to the town centre especially during evening hours.

“The scheme would have an acceptable impact in regard to visual amenity, residential amenity, parking and highways and ecology, and would provide an acceptable standard of new residential accommodation and achieve biodiversity net gain."

The same company already has permission to convert the upper two storeys of the Victorian building at 13 Regent Street just a few units away into two flats, one per floor.

HMV remains open and is expected to remain open after the new flats are built.