A FORMER town centre pub could be turned into 16 bedsits.

The Printers Arms on Union Road in Oswaldtwistle has been empty for several years.

Now a planning application has been put in to Hyndburn Council to turn it into a house in multiple occupation.

Jeremy Nussbaum of Salford firm Sandilane Limited wants to convert the building in 16 bedsits on two floor with a dining kitchen on each.

Both Hyndburn Council leader Cllr Miles Parkinson and Oswaldtwistle county councillor Peter Britcliffe have expressed reservations about the scheme.

A design and access statement from Craig Buck at The Intelligent Design Centre, Eagle Street, Accrington, submitted in support of the application says: “The Printers Arms is a longstanding former public house which occupies a two-storey detached property.

“It is currently vacant. The building is currently boarded up at ground floor.

“This application is for the change of use from a drinking establishment to a House of Multiple Occupancy and includes an extension to the rear to infill the small yard area and raise the height of rear half of the building.

“The application site is located on Union Road at the junction with Moscow Mill Street. It is situated between the former Palladium Building and the main car-park for Oswaldtwistle Mills.

“The Printers is a public house believed to be built in the early 19th century and has been a licensed premises since 1840.

“The rear half of the building is possibly the remains of the original terrace housing, with low ceilings and has been demolished inside for use as space for the pub. The rear of the building has had various alterations / extensions for toilets and the pub kitchen including a lean-to smoking shelter.

“The proposals seek to rationalise this unsightly building’s mismatch in materials and tidy up the elevations.

“The building appears subservient to the adjacent dilapidated and unsightly Palladium building.”

Cllr Parkinson said:”Of course houses in multiple occupation always concern residents and councillors. They have to be of a high standard of living accommodation. I am sure councillors will consider this application carefully.”

Cllr Britcliffe said: “I would like to see this former pub to good use but I am sure that nearby residents will have concerns about it being turned into a house full of bedsits.”