New Blackburn town center shops and apartments for conservation area

A PROMINENT empty street corner building in a conservation area is to be converted into shops and apartments.

Shabaz Ahmed has been granted planning permission for the conversion of the property at five and seven Corporation Street and seven Lord Street West, Blackburn, with 10 conditions.

The building is in the downtown Northgate Conservation Area.

A design and access statement submitted with its application for Blackburn with Darwen Council stated: “The building is in a prominent location at the end of the ‘high street’.

“It has an original decorative stone facade at ground floor level on the front facade (Corporation Street).

“This complements the stone facade of the adjacent building ‘Bees Knees’ (across Lord Street West).

“The proposed development contributes to the achievement of sustainable development. It proposes the re-use of vacant space for residential use which will contribute to the council’s housing supply.

“The proposals are not out of place and will improve the streetscape by utilizing vacant property which, if left, would become derelict without intervention.”

A report by planning officer Christian Barton said: “The bid site is a row of merged commercial properties located in Blackburn town center and the Northgate conservation area.

“It is located on the corner of Lord Street West and Corporation Street.

“This application consists in the first stage of changing the legal use of the site from an office to form three commercial units on the ground floor with four apartments above.

“Numbers Five and Seven on Corporation Street would be made into stand-alone retail units, with the remaining two units merged into one larger retail unit.

“Four apartments would be formed above on the first and second floors which would be accessed internally.

“In support of the conversion, three gray aluminum framed storefronts and access doors would be installed facing Corporation Street.

“The policy is generally in favor of proposals that would strengthen the commercial offer in the city center. City center living is also supported.

“The proposals would renovate and re-use a vacant building in the hopes of ensuring optimal sustainable use.

“Such an outcome would provide public benefits as the site could fall into a state of disrepair if left vacant for an extended period.

“It should also be noted that an abundance of storefront styles exist locally with developments similar to these proposals already existing in the Northgate and Cathedral conservation areas.

“Based on these positions, the style of the proposed storefronts is acceptable within the context of the conservation area.”

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