A plan to get more people living in the town centre has been approved by Doncaster councillors.
Private landlady Belinda Grashion has been granted planning permission to convert empty premises in the town’s Italian restaurant quarter into a 14-bedroom home.
Three local businesses raised objections to the house in multiple occupation scheme, but the application was passed unanimously at a planning committee meeting.
The building, previously occupied by the Pathways community office and young person’s activity centre, will have a two-storey extension built on at the back.
The location is generally regarded as part of Doncaster’s ‘night-time economy’, being close to restaurants such as San Remo, Bella Napoli, Villas Romana and Fratelli’s.
Business owners who raised objections said the area should remain commercial, and pointed out the street ‘has its own problems with gangs of men and vulnerable people hanging around’.
They feared a house in multiple occupation would add to the problem and discourage trade.
But in support of the proposal was a petition signed by 16 people, many of whom were local business owners and market stall holders.
Mrs Grashion’s agent, Dan Patrick, said the building would be aimed at working people and all the rooms would be doubles with en-suite facilities.
He said the family-run business was trying to raise the level of affordable accommodation in Doncaster and pointed out insufficient housing choice would hinder the town’s further growth. It would also minimise the residents’ need to travel to work, he said.
“This will bring a much needed lift to the area with the renovation of a derelict building that will provide housing for people on low wages,” he added.
South Yorkshire Police said crime prevention features such as CCTV and internal security doors should be incorporated.