PLANS to revamp former council offices into 31 flats have been lodged.

Applicant AJP Surveyors Ltd has submitted a change of use application for the offices in 18-24 Nicholas Street, Burnley.

The town-centre site was last used as offices by Burnley Council but has been vacant since 2012.

Since then, the site has been extensively marketed by the council, but it is ‘considered unlikely’ that a new commercial user will be found.

In planning documents on behalf AJP Surveyors Ltd, agent JWPC Ltd said the building was ‘in a state of advanced deterioration and decay.’

They said: “While the building has been relatively well maintained by Burnley Council, future occupation by any user will inevitably require significant investment through repairs and refurbishment to meet modern standards.

“Like many listed buildings of its period, the building risks eventually falling into deterioration as a result of prolonged vacancy.

“Given the extensive marketing of the site by the council since 2012, it is considered unlikely that a new commercial user will be located in the future.

“It is highly likely that investors have been deterred by the sheer size of the space on offer, which amounts to 1,540m2 of office floorspace.

“It would not be economically viable to refurbish the site for such purposes when modern office accommodation is already plentiful within the borough. “

Cllr Mark Townsend, leader of Burnley Council, said he was glad that a ‘fantastic heritage asset’ could be brought back into use.

He said: “I’m really pleased that an application has come forward to bring this building back into use.

“We’ve put forward a strategy for regeneration in the town centre and this would be another step forward in that strategy.”

The site was constructed in two parts in 1866 and 1869 and originally formed a number of separate units, including the offices for the Poor Law Union.

and a hotel, offices and warehouse associated with the Oddfellows Club.