Plans to redevelop the old Passport Office in Newport city centre as apartments have been submitted to Newport City Council.
Joint venture partners the Tonstate Group and Richard Hayward Properties have submitted a planning application to change the use of the upper floors of Olympia House from offices to residential and its redevelopment into 62 apartments for private rental.
Commenting on the application, Richard Hayward of Richard Hayward Properties said:
“This major landmark in the heart of Newport city centre has been vacant for more than 2 years, since the Passport Office left in April 2013. The proposed redevelopment will bring it back into beneficial use at a time when the regeneration of city centre is gathering pace with the neighbouring Friars Walk scheme due to open in November.
“As part of the planning application, we have demonstrated that there is a surplus of similar office space in the city centre, meaning that the change of use will not harm employment prospects in Newport. In addition, the application shows that the site is sustainably located and will greatly assist in meeting the identified housing need.”
Built in the 1960s, the 90,000 sq ft Olympia House is a nine-storey building, which previously housed the Passport Office. It currently consists of 13 retail units with six floors of office accommodation above.
As one of the largest buildings in Newport, the redevelopment of Olympia House to provide residential units with retail and leisure uses at on the lower levels will support the regeneration of the city, helping to bring residents back into the centre creating improved vibrancy and a greater sense of community.
Initial preparatory work has already stared, including clearing out internal areas and removing asbestos. Work has already been able to start on a soft strip for the flats while talks are underway regarding the letting of retail units.
Olympia House is just one of a number of projects that RHP is working on in Newport city centre – all of which are supporting its regeneration, creating jobs and acting as a catalyst for further investment by others. Others include the new 60-bed Premier Inn currently being developed opposite the station.
This is one of a number of projects RHP is working on in Newport, others include a new 60-bed Premier Inn and more residential above the Tesco Express, all of which are supporting its regeneration, creating jobs and acting as a catalyst for further investment by others.