A housebuilder is set to transform vacant bank offices into much-needed homes in Hemel Hempstead town centre.
The Oakmont Homes £14m project will initially convert the RBS offices, in Marlowes, into 35 one-bedroom and 13 two bedroom apartments.
The development together with new buildings on an adjacent site and the bank’s former car park were granted planning permission earlier this year.
Marc Green, managing director of Oakmont homes, spent 18 months acquiring the three adjoining sites.
He said: “We are delighted this scheme will provide a significant amount of high-quality homes where they are greatly needed.
“The development is in a prime location and a considerable amount of time and effort was required to assemble the site and secure planning consent, including change of use, in order to make the project work.”
However Ron Tindall, Lib Dem councillor for Adeyfield West, believes the conversion is because of a government panic over housing demand.
He said: “The government has decided jobs are less important than housing.
“I do not want the hollowing out of Hemel Hempstead town centre.”
Consent for a further five homes – bringing the total scheme up to 53 units – will be determined next month.
The muli-million project will include associated car parking, landscaping and roof gardens.
A key element of this regeneration has been the completion of The Forum last year which comprises a new library, voluntary services hub and council offices.
The re-development of Marlowes shopping centre has also been approved and will encompass a nine-screen cinema and a wide range of new restaurants.