A PLAN has been submitted to create three new apartments in the basement of a landmark Stourbridge building.

The Old Library building on the corner of Hagley Road and Church Street has already been converted into 22 luxury apartments.

But a further plan has now been submitted to Dudley Council planners to convert the basement of the Grade II listed building into two apartments with two bedrooms plus a studio apartment.

A Design and Access statement prepared by MDG Architects on behalf of Claremont Land and New Homes says: “The proposed scheme will see the lower ground developed in line with the recently completed upper levels of the building into residential accommodation.

“This will allow the creation of new residential units in Stourbridge town centre, and assist in aiding the economic growth of the town, while also maintaining The Old Library’s' character and sustainable presence on the Stourbridge map.”

The distinctive red brick and terracotta building was built in 1905 and was used as the town's library and later by Stourbridge College for education purposes.

More recently the ground floor was used as a commercial office space with much of the rest of the building remaining empty until planning permission was granted in 2015 to develop part of the ground floor and the first and second floors into 22 residential units.

The report, which can be seen in full on Dudley Council's planning website, says development of the lower ground floor would "bring 100 per cent of the building back into meaningful and sustainable use".

Existing basement windows are currently boarded up, and a number are damaged, but as part of the scheme they would be bought back into use to provide natural light to the proposed lower ground floor apartments.

Evesham Journal: The basement windows are currently boarded up. Pic - Google Street ViewThe basement windows are currently boarded up. Pic - Google Street View

The report says: "It is the proposal to provide new double glazed units within the existing frames wherever possible, if the retention of the existing frame is not possible they will be replaced with timber framed double glazed units. This will provide improved thermal and acoustic performance in line with current building regulation requirements, all existing stained glass units are to be retained and refurbished if required, so as not to affect the appearance to the elevations."

The lower ground floor apartments would be accessed by the existing entrance doors on Hagley Road and via the original staircase and existing internal lift, the design plan states.

A secure cycle store within the building would also be extended to provide space for the expected occupants of the basement floor.