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High Wycombe students to move into iconic former theatre building
STUDENTS will be moving into an iconic former theatre in the heart of High Wycombe after a conversion plan was agreed.
The clock house, which from 1946 to 1959 was the Wycombe Repertory Theatre, is set to become halls of residence.
A revised plan for 32 bed sits was approved by Wycombe District Council's planning committee on Thursday night.
During its 12 year history, around 400 plays and pantomimes were performed at the theatre, before low audiences led to its demise.
Wycombe High School was originally housed in the historic building.
A previous planning application, with three more rooms, was thrown out earlier this year.
Bucks New University , had originally had reservations about the designs.
Councillor Lesley Clarke, the former leader of WDC, remained unhappy with the altered proposal, raising questions over the understanding shown towards disabled residents.
She also expressed fears over traffic and the potential danger of the entrance to the building, adding issues raised in the early rejected applications not been addressed.
But officers said in their report: "The proposal is considered to be acceptable in principle, by design, in terms of its impact on amenity and with regard to its impact on parking in highway safety."
A condition of accepting the plan was the development would only be occupied by students undertaking full-time educational course studying at least 14 hours per week and/or a resident caretaker.
The building, located at the northern end of Frogmoor in the conservation area, is three-stories tall and has predominantly been used as office space, with a dental practice on the ground floor.
Bucks New University told officials, following the changes from the previous design, that it would be acceptable for Bucks New University students as part of its Head Tenancy Scheme. Under the
Scheme, the University could rent the property and take responsibility for filling the accommodation.
The University has no obligations regarding the Clock House currently.