THE Julian House Bike Workshop in Trowbridge could be demolished to make way for eight two-bedroomed flats.

Plans have been submitted to Wiltshire Council to knock down the existing building at 5-9 Duke Street, which was once the site of the former Lesters car dealership.

The plans is to provide new residential units in an area where properties sell for more than £176,000 on the open market.

Shane Marshall, of North Bradley, and Nigel Bedford, of Atelier 17 Ltd in Bradford on Avon, submitted the planning application on October 12 and are acting as an agent for the property owner.

The premises have been leased by the Julian House charity in Bath for the past few years. The charity employed four people full-time to repair, restore and sell second-hand bikes.

A spokesperson for Julian House said: “Our lease at 5 Duke Street was always going to come to an end next year, so we have been exploring options for the future of the bike workshop in Trowbridge.

“For now, it is business as usual for us – providing reliable and excellent-value bikes and maintenance and creating opportunities for vulnerable people to train, gain confidence and get back to independence and employment.”

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service says the proposed new residential properties are in a conservation area where it is required to provide an emergency operational response.

It added: “In the event the planning permission is granted for this development, the development would need to be designed and built to meet current building regulations requirements.”

Trowbridge Town Council says it has “no objection” to the proposal subject to no significant adverse impact on neighbourhood amenities.

Wiltshire Council conservation officer Helen Garside and the county highways department have also consulted about the scheme.

Kevin Eames, of Trowbridge Civic Society, said: “The existing building is apparently in a poor state, and it contrasts badly with its surroundings.

“Although the loss of the bike workshop is to be regretted, the proposed frontage will be an improvement.

“Great care, however, should be taken to ensure that the new building harmonises with its surroundings.

“We note that the proposed bricks are referred to as ‘stock bricks’, and we are unsure as to their suitability for the context, considering the listed building next to the proposed construction.

“Efforts should be made to match the Trowbridge red brick of the neighbouring building.

“Overall, we support this application, as long as the bricks and the bond pattern are appropriate to the conservation area within which the building is located.”

Wiltshire County Highways department said: “The proposals do not include any car parking provision; however, considering the location of the site is in the centre of Trowbridge, where on-street car parking is restricted locally, sustainable forms of travel are available and local public car parking is available nearby, I am happy to accept a car-free development in this instance, especially as the existing building does not benefit from parking.

“The existing footway fronting the site is formed as a dropped kerb crossing across the whole site frontage to facilitate access into the existing bike shop and it is constructed in concrete.

“These proposals will however no longer require such access and the developer will thus be expected to reconstruct the footway with an asphalt-concrete surface and new kerb line to match the existing either side of the site.”

The deadline for consultation ended on November 24. Wiltshire Council hopes to decide the application by December 7.