PLANS have been submitted to turn a former mill and antiques centre into a business centre.

Avalon Town Planning Ltd, based in Burnley, want to change part of the existing Union Mill buildings, on Watt Street, Sabden from its established antique retail use into offices.

If the proposals are given the green light 20 new full-time jobs will be created.

There will also be on-site car parking space for employees, an increase from the existing 15 available car park spaces up to 40.

The 19th century mill, which lies within the Sabden Conservation Area, was first built in 1856 and primarily used for weaving.

It shut down in 1964 and was later restored and occupied as the Pendle Antiques Centre in 1987, selling antique furniture.

David Moore, who co-runs a cafe business in the area, said: "I welcome more businesses coming here.

"That was part of the reason we came here in the first place.

"The more businesses on Watt Street then the more customers we will get coming here."

Cllr Richard Newmark, who represents the area, said: "This is really good for Sabden because there are a lack of businesses here at the moment and a lack of work for people in the village.

"It's really encouraging there could be more job opportunities for people in the area."

Antony Haworth, the chairman of Sabden Parish Council, said: "I think it would be well accepted in the village but there are concerns.

"The biggest problem the new development would seem to have is the amount of traffic moving driving up and down Watt street.

"Some of that traffic is going fast and a lot of children go down there.

"The worry is how traffic will be able to get in and out of there in an emergency."

Avalon Town Planning Ltd were unable to comment.

Environmental Health bosses responded to the application and asked for clarification on whether the working houses would be strictly adhered.

A spokesman said: "General office opening hours have been regarded as a 9am to 5pm operation Monday to Friday, however with the changing lifestyle of modern day living more flexible working hours have become the norm for today’s lifestyle.

"Should the office opening hours have differing times then it may have effect on the local residents of Watt street.

"If the office traffic is likely to increase into the sleeping hours of local residents a noise assessment would indicate if noise levels may have an impact upon the local residents."