PROPOSALS to convert a century-old former school into apartments have been welcomed.

Developers Waterfoot Investments Ltd have applied for permission to turn the old Waterfoot County Primary building into seven one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom flats.

The plans also include six new homes on the playground - two with three bedrooms, with direct access to Thornfield Avenue, and four three-bedroom houses that would require a new access road to Thornfield.

Ward councillor Amanda Robertson said she welcomed developers looking at Waterfoot as a potential location for their project.

She said: “It’s nice to see something coming through for Whitewell ward because it’s usually happening in Rawtenstall, Bacup or Helmshore.

“It’s an interesting scheme and it is good that there are plans coming through for this building, instead of it continuing to lie derelict.”

Parking spaces for the development would be provided for within the boundaries of the existing site.

A spokesman for the developers said in a report: “After discussions with the local authority and local residents it became apparent that the building is of historic value to the town and should therefore be retained if possible. The existing school building dates back to 1893 and we understand is important to the town from a historic perspective.

“It is a stone faced building with a natural slate roof. This is typical of a number of buildings in the local area.”

Staff and children from the school moved to the new purpose-built Waterfoot Primary School in Wolfenden Green in January 2012, when the school amalgamated by expansion with Cloughfold Primary School.