AN application has been lodged with the council to demolish a two-storey building next to a vacant former pub.

Registered with Blackburn with Darwen Council on October 27, the application proposes demolition of the traditional two-storey masonry building, once used as offices, adjoining the former Fleece Inn pub on Penny Street.

The application states: "The demolition is to allow for a future development/project to restore/and put back in to use the adjoining vacant Fleece Inn."

The building, which belonged to Thwaites Brewery before the council bought up the land, and sits at the edge of the former brewery site, is considered ‘redundant, vacant and dilapidated'.

The proposals comprise of the pulling down of the main building, including grubbing foundations and the removal of disused services where accessible.

It also states that following the removal of all waste and debris from site it will be taken to a licensed tip or for recycling where possible.

The appointed structural engineer will provide specification and calculations for infilling the basement so as not to undermine the existing Fleece Inn structure and the adjoining highway, before work can begin to restore the building to its former glory.

Back in February, Blackburn with Darwen Council announced it wanted to buy the former Thwaites Brewery site for redevelopment.

Teaming up with Maple Grove Developments Ltd, part of the Eric Wright Group, the council said it would pay for the purchase and regeneration of the seven acres of cleared land.

The site, on Penny Street in Blackburn town centre, has been empty since 2018 and cost in the region of ‘several million pounds’ to buy, although an exact sum has never been disclosed.

The council and Maple Grove Developments said they would work to create a renewal strategy for the land through a new joint venture company, which included plans to preserve the historic Fleece Inn pub on the edge of the site, with the new partnership looking at a range of other redevelopment options ­— from commercial development through to leisure uses or new houses and flats.

People wishing to comment on the application, in opposition or support of the demolition have until November 18 to do so.

If approved, work is expected to begin as early as December 6, with demolition completion scheduled for January 14.

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