AN 18th century pub which closed earlier this year could be turned into housing.

Plans have been submitted to Blackburn with Darwen Council to convert the former Victoria Hotel pub in Tockholes Road, near Darwen, into two new homes.

Last orders were called on the 200-year-old pub in February after owner George Levey, who ran the establishment for 21 years, retired.

The building dates back to 1776.

It was a hotel during the late 18th century and 19th century, but throughout most of the 20th century it had run as a pub.

Prior to being used as a hotel and pub, the building was originally a weaving mill with separate living accommodation.

It became a hotel in the 19th century when Tockholes had a much larger population of 1261 compared to less than 500 now.

Buildings next to the former pub were knocked down in the 1950s and 60s to make way for a car park, with an extension also built.

But it is proposed to knock the "poorly-built" extension down to reveal the original rear of the building. 

A design and access statement submitted as part of the application reads: "It is intended to return both front and rear elevations to their 18th century appearance.

"The demolished extension will reveal the original court yard which will be utilised to allow rear access to the resulting two properties.

"This space when combined with the existing car park will provide adequate off road parking with turn around and gardens.

"The restoration of the 18th century building and replacement of the car park with gardens will greatly enhance the appearance of the front, side and in particular rear elevations.

"Change of use from public house to residential dwellings removes the potential problems of noise, nuisance, and on road parking, which was considerable in the busy era of the 1970s, whilst at the same time increasing the desirability of adjacent and facing properties by removing the uncertainties of future commercial developments of a public house.

"The removal of the car park improves road safety fears caused by its entry point being so close to a dangerous blind bend in the road."