A FORMER town centre pub and nightclub could become a block of flats.

Barry Bentley has applied for planning permission to convert the Java Bar in Wellington Fold in Darwen into seven residential apartments.

The vacant premises are in the town centre's conservation area.

A planning statement submitted to Blackburn with Darwen Council with the application says: "The application site comprises a former nightclub and public house located on Wellington Fold, just off Market Street.

"The building is a large two-storey property of stone construction under a pitched slate roof. The ground floor consists of an open plan room with bar area, dance floor and seating areas with toilets to the rear.

"There is a separate cellar space under the ground floor. On the first floor there is a function area with a bar and there is extra space within the roof space. To the rear is a large attached two-storey building.

"The site is located within the conservation area. It appears to have been used as a club/bar for many years.

"The building has now been bought by the applicant for residential purposes as no nightclub/pub operator decided to buy the building.

"The planning application proposes a change of use from a nightclub to seven residential apartments.

"On the ground floor the proposal is for three apartments. The first floor would consist of four further apartments. Overall the proposal would comprise four two bedroom apartments and three one bedroom apartments.

"The site is located within Darwen town centre and the provision of seven apartments will make a significant contribution to the vitality of the town centre.

The site is located within a high-density area where apartments would be the most appropriate form of a development, particularly as it makes use of an existing vacant building."