By Leigh Boobyer – Local Democracy Reporter

Plans to turn Gloucester’s empty prison into 200 flats have to be approved again, seven months after the development was given the go-ahead.

The conversion of 200 apartments from the former Victorian jail on Barrack Square was unanimously granted permission at a planning committee in May this year.

The application has gone back to the city council’s planning committee because government body Natural England believed the proposals could affect a nearby Cotswold conservation area.

The council’s ecology adviser had undertaken an assessment and found that “an adverse effect on the integrity of the sites an be ruled out” – something which Natural England are now happy with, a council document said.

The proposal returns to the committee to sign-off Natural England’s endorsement of the assessment.

Officers at the council have recommended the planning committee approve the application.

Developer City and Country was unanimously granted permission by Gloucester City Councillors who green-lighted the plans earlier this year.

Tours of the 224-year-old prison ended on October 14 due to “operational costs”.

The site had been leased from City and Country Group, and work is expected to begin in 2020.

About 320 inmates were held at the jail until its closure in 2013.

Gloucester City Council’s planning committee are likely to grant permission for the application on December 5, from 6pm.

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