A FORMER health centre could be knocked down to make way for 112 new apartments.

Plans have been submitted to Blackburn with Darwen Council proposing to demolish the old Montague Health Centre in Oakenhurst Road, Blackburn.

The building, which dates back to the late 1960s, was put up for sale through property consultants Trevor Dawson in November last year with a guide price of £500,000.

The centre closed in 2011 and was replaced by the £21m Barbara Castle Way Health Centre.

Borough regeneration boss, Cllr Phil Riley, said the application could be taken as further indication Blackburn is a town on the rise.

He said: "Obviously we are pleased that this is another indication of developers who have got confidence in the town centre.

"We have been quite clear that increasing the number of people who live in the vicinity of the town centre will be good for the place.

"I think the town is on the up full-stop.

"I'm still of the view that we want to get more people living in the town centre because that's what will increase the night time footfall."

A design and access statement submitted as part of the application reads: “The applicant has long standing roots within the community and has been a keen observer of the regeneration achieved by the council in recent times.

“The aspirational housing targets will continue that regeneration and wealth creation and further reinforce the cycle of improving neighbourhoods and increases in both retail and leisure/social offers.

“The creation of this development is seen as being somewhat ground breaking for Blackburn and it will provide a modern housing solution to the educated young talent within the borough.

"Such housing offers are currently only available in the larger conurbations of Manchester and Liverpool.

"The intention of the development is to provide a luxury living environment, within the vicinity of a desirable town centre for discerning professionals who value the ability to live, work and socialise in close proximity.

“The site, now vacant continues to deteriorate and will become an eye-sore in an otherwise pleasant location.

"The applicant identified Blackburn as an exciting opportunity for investment.

"The young population, successful council led regeneration of the town and the near total absence of similar luxury living accommodation of the type preferred by many young professionals all provide the perfect opportunity."