Work to turn Aberystwyth’s old tax office into flats has begun.
The building alongside Plascrug Avenue is being turned into flats, despite objections from BT.
They objected to the ambitious plan over fears that work could affect “vital” broadband equipment.
A five-floor, 42-flat development was proposed by Ellis Developments for the former Crown building.
The site has lain empty since 2013 and developers argue that “the employment facility in its present use class is no longer viable”. The site has been marketed for development since 2017.
Thirteen one-bedroom apartments, 26 two-bedroom and three three-bedroom penthouse flats, along with office space, were proposed for the site.
The existing BT exchange on the ground floor will be retained. BT, which occupies most of the ground floor and extension, also said that the current fire escape route exits into areas it owns, “bringing into question the deliverability” of the scheme.
An attempt in 2009 to turn the building into student accommodation was refused by Ceredigion planners but allowed by Welsh Government inspectors on appeal. That scheme never came to fruition.
Cllr Alun Williams shared photographs from the site entrance on social media this week. Accompanying the photographs, he said: “Work on the old tax office alongside Plascrug Avenue by Ellis Developments have is finally underway.
“At the same time work is proceeding apace on the Brynderw site on the bank above with a separate local company.
“Concern has been raised by local residents about increased traffic in the area but, crucially, the highways report did not agree that this would be a problem based on the traffic assessment.
“Together the developments will amount to an extra 90 housing units on the site.”