The old Knees department store building in the centre of Trowbridge could be transformed into flats.

Property company, Stonegate Homes has launched a planning bid to convert some of the space in the former Fore Street retail building into flats.

The proposals would see the building house 24 flats across all five floors, made up of nine, one-bedroom flats, and 15 two-bedroom flats.

Plans will partly retain the ground floor for commercial use, as well as extensions and external changes made to the 26 Fore Street property.

Side elevations for the proposed plans for the former Knees of Trowbridge building

Side elevations for the proposed plans for the former Knees of Trowbridge building

At the last Town Development committee meeting, Trowbridge Town Council gave its approval of the development under the condition it is built with triple glazed windows.

It was also noted the plans are for a “car-free development” which essentially means there is zero parking for future residents.

Speaking at the meeting, town council leader, Stewart Palmen said he believed a lot of people were generally in favour of the plans, but businesses were in opposition.

The former Knees building on Fore Street is across the road from The Kings Arms, The Courthouse and the Zinc nightclub -- and next door to Anytime Fitness, a 24/7 gym.

Triple glazing windows would be used to protect future occupants from any potential issues related to the town’s night-time economy.

An issue highlighted by Mike Lefever of the Kings Arms pub, who said the development would lead to “immediate conflict” and that the area was unsuited for residential development.

He added: “We are writing to ask that nothing is granted that would prejudice the ability of all the existing businesses to trade.

“Most pubs and clubs are in a precarious position at the moment and I also have the livelihoods of twenty furloughed employees to think about.”

The deadline set for Wiltshire Council to make the final call on the bid is Wednesday, May 5.