PLANS to add an outdoor shisha area at the under-development Q Lounge have been unveiled.

Work is ongoing to convert the former Switch nightclub building in St Peter Street, Blackburn, into an all-in-one entertainment venue with snooker and games rooms, halal restaurant and dessert bar serving non-alcoholic cocktails.

And now an application has been submitted to Blackburn with Darwen Council proposing to add an outdoor shisha smoking area to the scheme.

Permission for the development was granted by council planning bosses in December and Q Lounge representatives say they hope to open by April.

A spokesman for the developers said: “We seek to further diversify the venue’s offer by including an outdoor shisha area.

“Cafes and bars offering the traditional Middle Eastern pipes have been springing up across the UK since the smoking ban came into force in 2007.

“We consider the proposed modification to the scheme as a welcomed addition, particularly amongst the local clientele which frequent the premises.

“The number of venues offering shisha across the UK has risen 210 per cent since 2007.

“We have taken into consideration other potential health impacts and confirms the use of flavoured tobacco-free Mu‘assel as opposed to traditional, tobacco-based shisha.

“Shisha will not be available for customers under the age of 18. Customers will be required to show ID confirming age.

“There will be no advertisement making reference to shisha nor will the use be visible as to entice pedestrians passing the site.”

The building has stood empty since it was run as Code nightclub, which closed just 11 days after opening.

Bosses hope the new £500,000 scheme will create 25 jobs including chefs, kitchen staff, security, cleaning and admin.

Code launched at the St Peter Street premises, formerly home to Switch and before that Liquid and Envy, on March 1 last year.

Prior to that, the building had housed Switch and Nocturnal which both attracted trouble.