A LANDMARK building in Burnley town centre could fetch almost £200,000 at auction later this month.

The former County Court in Bankhouse Street, which has been derelict for since 1986, is expected to be snapped up by developers.

Bidders will battle it out when the three-storey complex, which is not listed, goes under the hammer with auctioneers Pugh and Company at Manchester United FC’s Old Trafford stadium on February 28.

The 12,000 sq ft building, believed to be owned by businessman and former Burnley FC director John Turkington, is on the market with estate agency Trevor Dawson.

In 1999, Mr Turkington submitted a planning application to turn the building, between Barnes Street and Curzon Street, into a cabaret, but the plans never saw the light of day, despite being given the go-ahead by the council.

An application to turn it into a restaurant and casino was made in 2002.

In 2006, a Burnley Local Plan report by Lancashire County Council recommended the building was converted and refurbished into a retail unit, but ever materialised.

Coun Roger Frost, chairman of Burnley Civic Society, said he would like to see the 105-year-old building preserved if bought by developers.

He said: “It is potentially a very versatile building on the inside so we shouldn’t be prescriptive about its future use.

“Initially its offices were used by the Inland Revenue as well as the court, and there are several very significant architectural details both outside and inside.

“There are a mixture of large and small spaces that could be put to various commercial uses, it could even be divided up and made into a sort of market hall. You could do all sorts with it.”

Pugh and Company said that while the property was in need of refurbishment, it represents a good development opportunity.