A TOWN centre office block could be turned into 50 apartments as plans have been approved.

Refresh Living submitted the application to Somerset West and Taunton Council to convert Michael Paul House, an office building on Tower Street, into 57 apartments.

Council planners have given the plans the greenlight

The apartments would be a mix of one-beds and studios, spread across three floors.

There would be 23 parking spaces, including two electric vehicle charging points, as well as cycle parking.

A spokesman said: "It is proposed that the development will operate a residential travel plan with the specific aim of actively promoting low levels of car ownership, with sustainability as a key feature in the marketing of the flats.

"The residents will be offered membership to a car club scheme with access to an electric car located in the allocated spaces in the car park.

"There is provision for up to 16 secure cycle parking spaces within the car park to the rear of the building.

"Given the current use of the building as office accommodation it is not considered that this change of use to residential will cause a severe change to the existing level of traffic movements in the area."

Planners saw no reason to object to the application, despite noting the lack of parking spaces and some of the apartments being smaller than policy would suggest.

A spokesman said: "It is noted that the parking provision of 23 spaces is significantly lower than the Somerset Parking Strategy, which states one

space per bedroom, which should result in 57 spaces.

"Cycle provision has been provided on site.

"It is noted that the studio space and several of the 1 bed 1 person spaces do not comply with policy D10.

"Policy D10 states that for one bed one person the minimum gross internal floorspace should be 39sqm, however this is outside the remit of this application.

"It is therefore recommended that prior approval be granted."

To view the application and decision report search number 38/19/0195 on SWT website.