DEVELOPERS have asked for more time to regenerate an Accrington landmark - because of the coronavirus crisis.

Blueprints to construct 26 apartments on the site of the old Conservative Club in Cannon Street were approved last year.

The grade II listed club, which dates back to 1890, has remained a shell since a huge fire decimated the building in May 2016.

An existing planning permission for the site expires next February and extra time is being sought to complete preparatory work for the scheme.

Ashmore Properties wants to redevelop the land once remaining rubble and debris have been removed and other modifications made to enable building work to begin in earnest.

Richard Maudsley, of Sunderland Peacock Architects, in a letter to Hyndburn Council's planning department, has confirmed that, following the site being purchased by a new owner in April, the apartments project is still on course.

But he added: "The on-going Covid 19 regulations imposed by the government have placed additional pressure on the ability to carry out the required professional services in order to discharge these conditions, which as a result may impede a lawful commencement."

Under the current terms, the developers are required to clear the old debris and remove vegetation which has formed on the site.

All of the standing structures there are expected to remain, with fresh foundations installed to stabilise the surviving facade.

Mr Maudsley said that the applicant would continue to discharge other conditions, as appropriate, as part of the redevelopment process.

Nineteen one-bedroom apartments would be created, as part of the overall project, over four floors.

The frontage is the only significant part of the building to have survived the fire four years ago.

Once renowned as the largest Conservative Club in the north west, the sprung dancefloor attracted patrons for decades.

In the 1990s the venue became a nightclub but that venture was shut down after a man was killed outside the premises in 2003.

Work has also been ongoing to convert the former Cannon Street Baptist Church opposite into 11 flats.

The church dates back to 1872 but had been left semi-derelict for a number of years before it was purchased for redevelopment.