Wiltshire Council is to take over three of the units in Snuff Street that have lain empty since local developers Gaiger Brothers completed them nearly four years ago.

The council plans to close the former Kennet District Council offices at Browfort, Bath Road, in September but promised local people a more accessible council service close to the town centre.

Most people expected the Gaiger site – known as Crossmolina Buildings – to be a favourite for the new access centre, including a register office, but it was only when an application for change of use was received by the council’s planning department this week that the rumour was confirmed.

Estate agents Kavanaghs have been marketing the units since September 2007 with mixed success.

Polly Tea Rooms took over the Market Place frontage in July 2009 but had to close at New Year 2011. The Right Time charity fared no better when they briefly took over the lease last August.

A children’s clothing shop lasted little more than six months in one of the Snuff Street units, and the only one still let is the Face Envy fancy dress and make-up centre.

Kavanaghs said: “The perception of applicants who have considered the shops is that there is not sufficient pedestrian flow.

“The anticipated use by the public of the car park off New Park Street via the footpath off Snuff Street has not transpired as a frequently used route.”

The council’s plans are to amalgamate the three units to create a facility for the council when Browfort closes in September.

Council officers will use it as a ‘hot desk’ centre and members of the public can pay their council tax there.

In addition, the register office at Browfort will close and marriages and civil partnerships will be carried out at the Snuff Street centre.

Other council officers currently based at Browfort will be relocated to the police station in New Park Street, largely empty after the police response teams were moved to Chippenham and Trowbridge.

There will be no public access to that building.