Green light for Orient building

Andrew Hayhurst, in front the Clifton and Orient Buildings which he owns,
Andrew Hayhurst, in front the Clifton and Orient Buildings which he owns,

A property developer who has waited six years for planning permission to convert an eyesore building into accommodation, hopes work will begin before the end of the year.

Andrew Hayhurst purchased the Orient Building on the corner of Station Road with big plans to create student accommodation for people studying at the Nautical College.

However, he was faced with several stumbling blocks as he tried to get permission to change the building from commercial to residential usage.

He said: “A change in government regulations allowing the change of use was the reason why planning permission was finally given.

“I am still looking at flats, possibly for student accommodation, but its a matter of weighing up all the options.

“I’m really pleased that we can finally get on with it.

“The only stipulation in place is we can’t put bedrooms on the ground floor because of flooding risks.

“We are putting a plan together and hopefully we can start work later in the year.

“I was at the building this morning because kids had been pulling the boards off.

“It’s all boarded up, the windows and doors, but it doesn’t stop them.

“Once everything is finalised we’ll leap into action, there’s a lot to do.”

The Orient building accommodates a large site on the corner of Siding Road.

It has been empty for several years and has been described as an eyesore building.