The first images have been released of a new car-free development of more than 250 flats on Watford ring road.

60 Exchange Road Ltd has launched a public consultation for its proposals to redevelop Exchange House in the town centre.

The five storey locally listed 1960s building on the corner of Upton Road is currently offices and in need of "extensive update", and the owners of Exchange House have been in talks with Watford Borough Council for a couple of years about how they could redevelop it.

After extensive work, the owners are now ready to share their "landmark" plans with the public.

The owners have come up with design of a U-shaped building, rising to a total of 18 storeys - completely transforming the current look of the site.

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A similar view of the same site. Pictured is Exchange House. Credit: Google Street View

The brown bricked proposal is stepped in height and ranges from five, eight, ten, and up to a maximum of 18 storeys.

Another noticeable feature of the proposal is the glass balconies.

In total, 263 flats are proposed, including 139 one-beds, 105 two-beds, and 19 three-beds.

There would be no car parking at all, except for nine disabled parking spaces and three proposed for a car sharing scheme.

Vehicle access would be via Upton Road.

Cycling facilities would be provided - 216 cycling spaces and a further 34 visitor cycling spaces.

The scheme would also come with a 71 sq metre space on the ground floor for community or leisure use.

Enclosed within the development would be a green space which would be open to both residents and the public.

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The site falls in the Watford town centre strategic development area in the council's emerging local plan, and is also identified in the Watford High Street (North) and Cultural Hub Masterplan as a potential redevelopment site for a landmark building.

And while the building has been used as offices, a planning application for prior approval to allow the building to be converted to residential accommodation to provide 126 units was approved in 2017.

And because the site is currently offices, any plans will not have to go through the formal planning application.

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Exchange House currently

Avishay Manoach, chief operating officer of 60 Exchange Road Ltd, said: "The property at Exchange House benefits from approval for conversion to residential use under permitted development.

"Rather than converting the somewhat tired existing building into sub-standard residential accommodation, 60 Exchange Road Ltd has invested significantly in designing a new exceptional quality building designed by the multi-award winning Bogle Architects.

"The new building will create a landmark feature on Exchange Road and act as a catalyst for further regeneration of the town centre following the recent activity at the intu centre, Watford Junction, and on Clarendon Road.

"As a business, 60 Exchange Road Ltd sees continued growth and prosperity for Watford as a town which benefits from excellent transport links and a vibrant mix of town centre retail and leisure uses."

A consultation website has been set up by the owners to allow the public to look at the plans and make any comments.

For more information, visit https://www.exchangehousewatford.co.uk