BURNLEY’S former Poundstretcher will be used as a base for Ministry of Justice probation workers.

Government bosses say about 60 staff will be located at the building in Queens Lancashire Way after an application to divide the shop into two units was approved by Burnley Council.

Half of the building will be used as offices for the National Probation Service while the other unit will remain as a shop.

The proposed development comprises the sub-division of the vacant former Poundstretcher unit to form two units of roughly equal size.

A design and access statement submitted as part of the application reads: "The new units will be split into approximately 494 sqm and 791 sqm in size.

"The Ministry of Justice intend to occupy the new 494 sqm unit as the National Probation Service, which will require a change of use to B1(a) offices.

"The other unit is proposed to remain as the consented A1 retail use.

"Approximately 60 staff will be located at the building.

"Vehicular parking will be provided on site for staff and visitors, with the existing car parking at the site split equally between the two units."

The hours of operation of the office will be 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday.

The statement adds: "The proposed development has been the subject of pre-application discussions with Burnley Council.

"A formal written pre-application response was received from Janet Filbin, senior planning officer

"The officer confirmed that the principle of the proposed development was acceptable.

"Comments were made around needing to justify the car parking split between the two units as it exceeded the parking standards.

"A Transport Statement has been prepared in response and is submitted with this application."

Case officer Janet Filbin said: "The application site currently comprises a detached purpose-built single storey retail unit.

"The retail unit is currently vacant, having formerly been occupied by Poundstretcher.

"The proposed offices would be used by the probation service. Two rows of new windows and a door would be inserted on the front elevation.

"Approximately half of the current car park would be dedicated to the proposed office use for use by employees and visitors.

"A car park plan has been provided to delineate how it would be used, identifying 21 car parking spaces (including 3 disabled parking spaces) and two motorcycle spaces.

“The site falls within the defined town centre boundary and not within a defined shopping area or frontage. The large retail store that is currently unoccupied would be reduced from Class A1 by approximately half its size.

“Policy TC2 seeks to maintain and enhance retail and service provision in Burnley town centre but also states that main town centre uses which accord with other relevant policies in the local plan will be supported within the town centres of Burnley and Padiham.

“In this case, the loss of retail floorspace would not reduce the amount of primary or secondary shopping frontage in the town centre.

“The proposal would not significantly affect the retail function of Burnley town centre and represents an appropriate use within the town centre.

"The proposal therefore complies with the development plan and there are no material considerations to indicate otherwise.”