Residents relieved by flats plan for former nightclub
RESIDENTS who campaigned against plans to reopen a former nightclub appear relieved at new proposals to turn it into flats.
An application has been put forward to turn the former Gas and Chemistry nightclub in St James' Square into eight flats.
Developers hope to return it to its former glory as a 19th- century piece of architecture.
Hildegard Holland, who lives in St James' Square, said residents would prefer the building to be used for flats to a nightclub.
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"When it was a nightclub, you would hear them coming out, singing and dancing on the streets, at 3am," she said.
"It would be much better for everyone if it became flats."
The work is being put together by Applied Town Planning, based in Birmingham, for the current owner Mike Gibson.
Paul Spivey, agent for the developer, said: "It has had a somewhat chequered past culminating in its dereliction in the 1970s followed by a fire which destroyed the internal structures and roof.
"The subsequent conversion to its last use as a bar and restaurant paid scant regard to the external character and qualities of the building."
Grade II-listed Gibson House was constructed in about 1805 and was originally two houses.
It became Gas bar and restaurant in the 1970s, running until 1989. It then traded as Chemistry until 2005.
Since then, the building has remained empty.
Mr Spivey admitted that the spot could become a hotspot for parking problems with no off-street parking being created as part of the scheme.
Members of the congregation at St Gregory's Roman Catholic Church and parents of children at St Gregory's Primary School, in St James' Square, all use the area during the week to park their cars.
But the agent insisted the benefits of giving the empty building a new lease of life far outweighed the issues.
Mr Spivey said: "This lack of designated car parking is not considered to outweigh the clear benefits of bringing this Listed Building back in to use."
The application is expected to be heard by Cheltenham Borough Council's planning committee on January 22.