A FORMER steakhouse will be granted a new lease of life as a chicken restaurant.

An application to turn the old Mi’raj steak restaurant in Limbrick Hall, St Andrew’s Street, Blackburn, into a Chickano’s restaurant has been approved.

The firm, which was founded in 2011, already has restaurants and takeaways in Batley, Huddersfield, Leeds and Dewsbury, and is also planning to open in Leicester, Bolton and Halifax.

It is hoped the new restaurant will create six full-time and 20 part-time jobs.

When plans were lodged, managing director of Chickano’s Family Sajad Hussain said he was hopeful the new £300,000 restaurant would be ready to open by September at the latest.

The proposed opening hours are between noon and 11pm Monday to Saturday and noon and 10pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

There will be 13 parking spaces available for customers.

Work on converting the restaurant has already begun.

Mr Hussain said the firm would spend about £100,000 on kitting out the place.

He added: “It’s going to be one of the best in Blackburn – we are not cutting any corners.”

By early next year, the firm hopes to have as many as 14 restaurants in the UK and there has also been interest from the Middle East.

Mi’raj closed last year.

The proposed development is the latest in a string of new eateries set to open in the town, with the conversion of Blakeys into eastZeast set to be completed by June.

Plans to turn the old Pitchers bar, in Salford in the town centre, which stood empty for almost a decade, into a burger restaurant are also on the cards.

A decision notice published by Blackburn with Darwen Council officials said: “As part of the determination of this planning application the local planning authority has worked pro-actively and positively with the applicant ensuring all the issues have been resolved.

“The local planning authority has considered the application and where necessary considered either the imposition of planning conditions and/or sought reasonable amendments to the application in order to deliver a sustainable form of development in accordance the National Planning Policy Framework.

“The proposal is of appropriate design and appearance and would not be detrimental to amenity; in accordance with the core strategy and policies eight and 11 of the Blackburn with Darwen Local Plan Part 2.”