OUTLINE permission to demolish a Christchurch shopping village and replace it with a three-storey office block has been given.

BCP Council has approved Mostyn Levein’s application to redevelop the Christchurch Emporium site off Bridge Street.

Final details of the design of the building and its layout will have to be signed-off before any work can start.

Christchurch Emporium opened in April 2015 but did so without having planning permission in place.

The ensuing planning process ended in 2017 when the ground floor was allowed to be used for a mixture of retail, café, office and storage uses.

Temporary permission was granted by Christchurch council’s planning committee.

But months later the application to demolish the former factory building was submitted.

“The proposal provides an opportunity to introduce a use which is policy compliant, reflecting the aims of adopted and emerging policies and allows for the establishment of an active street frontage with Stony Lane South, improving legibility to the street,” a statement with the plans said.

“It is considered that the proposed development successful integrates with the established street scene and character of the area.”

It said the replacement three-storey office block would provide just under 5000sqm of space alongside 80 parking spaces and bicycle storage facilities.

The building would have the same footprint as the structures earmarked for demolition.

Two people living nearby to the site submitted objections to the plans.

Among them was Dr Terrence Croucher who said: “This office is in the wrong place in a predominantly residential and leisure area.

“At three storeys it is too high and will be extremely overbearing on existing nearby properties.”

But despite their opposition, BCP Council approved the application at the end of last month.

A condition of the decision is that reserved matters of appearance, layout and landscaping of the site are also supported by the council before any work can start.