Former Department of Work and Pensions office could become 31 apartments if given the green light by planners (From The Bolton News)

A TOWN centre could be set for a boost if developers are given the green light to turn a former office building into 31 new apartments.

An application has been submitted to convert Melbourne House in Accrington, the former Department of Work and Pensions building, into the new homes.

The plans have been submitted by London based company Telereal Trillium.

Cllr Miles Parkinson, Hyndburn Council leader, said the proposals should have a positive affect on the area if work is carried out efficiently.

He said: “It’s important for any thriving city or town centre to have residential accommodation.

“The lifeblood of any area is people.

“What any area needs is quality residential housing and hopefully that’s what this development would provide.

“That would improve the borough and it’s also what other areas need to get more people into the town centre.”

The apartments would consist of 14 one bedroom apartments and 17 two bed properties.

The agent acting on behalf of the developer, Origin3, said they would be predominantly be aimed at young professionals looking to get on the housing ladder or those downsizing.

Conor Flanagan, planning director at Origin3, said the transformation would be a positive move.

He said: “We think it’s a suitable move for the current building.

“With any town centre site when you’ve got a building like this it is better if you can find a positive use for it and residential is the best use.

“It would be close to local shops which is a good thing.

“There is also a shortage of housing everywhere at the moment.

“This is one of those buildings we should be looking at utilising and is a positive thing.”

The building had previously been used by the Department of Work and Pensions before they left several years ago.

The building is close to the Accrington Arndale shopping centre and Eastgate Retail Park.

Apartments would be over the three storeys of the building and current car parking facilities, which feature 22 spaces, would be retained for used by the occupants.

Shahed Mahmood, from Hyndburn Chamber of Trade, said new apartments would be good news for businesses and the area as a whole.

He said: “We definitely welcome it, it will be a big boost to the area.

“It’s a very good location and any town needs flats and houses.

“It’s good news to see investment in the town and that people are looking to Hyndburn for this.

“It’s just what is needed.

“Hyndburn is also a great location for people to live and then travel elsewhere.”

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