A WINCHESTER-based architecture firm is set to turn the former Trinity Centre into housing – and hopes to start construction work before the end of the year.

Design Engine Architects have planning permission to replace the homeless charity's previous building in St Paul's Hill with new accommodation, which will include five houses, two flats/maisonettes and a studio flat.

After Trinity moved to its new building in Durngate Place in 2009, the building was empty for a year before Wessex Dance Academy took it over to use it as a studio. Following their departure earlier this year, the building was left without a purpose once again.

Director at Design Engine Architects, Richard Jobson said: "We originally tarted the building up for the dance academy, but once they left it was clear the building was very run down.

"This company is very dedicated to upgrading the local area. Our work will improve the streetscape in that specific area, which at the moment seems very broken down.

"We are also installing a pedestrian route through the houses, and hope to develop a courtyard in between, so the whole area is enhanced. At the moment it seems to be a forgotten part of Winchester."

The development will comprise of a one bedroom and a two bedroom maisonette, a two bedroom and a three bedroom house, three four bedroom houses and a one bedroom studio flat.

All five of the houses will have a dedicated parking space.