THE redevelopment of a fire-ravaged former Conservative Club has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic

A new owner had asked planners to allow him to proceed more slowly than scheduled.

In 2018, Hyndburn Council’s planning committee approved proposals to convert the former Accrington Conservative Club site in Cannon Street into 26 apartments.

An application to replace that scheme with 19 one-bedroomed flats was approved in May last year but now a new owner wants to proceed with the original 26-apartment scheme.

The Cannon Street building, which is Grade II-listed and dates back to 1890, was partly-demolished in May 2016 after a huge fire.

A letter to Hyndburn Council planners from Richard Maudsley, of Ashmore Properties Ltd, seeks to vary the conditions relating to starting the work, and says: “This application seeks amendment of the ‘trigger’ stage.

“Given the current conditions and spoil on site, the clearance of former demolition debris is paramount to allow safe access for the design team to assess ground conditions, and allow work to progress in a safe manner.

“The reasons and timing issues are as follows: this application follows the purchase of the site in April 2020 by a new owner who is committed to ensure this prominent site becomes a positive feature of the urban landscape once again; the Covid-19 regulations imposed by the government have placed additional pressure on the ability to carry out the required professional services; site constraints require clearance of the former demolition debris/vegetation to allow safe access for the works.”