THE owner of a key corner building in a town centre conservation area has been granted planning permission to replace its shopfront and windows.

Mr R Palmer from Pilkingtons will now fit the new wooden frontage and sash windows to the former Age Concern premises at 13 Northgate in Blackburn.

Documents submitted with his planning application to Blackburn with Darwen Council say: "The proposals are deemed to be essential to reinstating the character and value of the Blackburn town centre, Northgate Conservation area.

"The scale, height, and proportion of the proposed shopfront has been carefully considered, and this will ensure the property sits comfortably and sympathetically within the wider streetscape."

A report from planning officer Jamie Edwards recommending approval with three conditions says: "The application site is situated on the corner of Northgate and Lord Street West, opposite a modern retail building and the west side of the Mall Shopping Centre.

"The proposal building is mid to late 19th century three-storey corner property, constructed of red brick with stone dressings and brick arches, in a gothic style.

"The site is within the Northgate Conservation Area.

"The proposal will replace the existing timber frame shopfronts to the three elevations of the property.

"The proposal also seeks to replace the existing timber windows (initially thought to be UPVC) with traditional sliding sash casements resulting in the replacement of 11 windows overall "The proposed new shop fronts will comprise of new hardwood profiled jambs, transoms, and mullions. Furthermore, the original recessed entrance is to be reinstated with curved glass.

"The alterations to the shop front are considered to be sympathetic and overall will significantly improve the appearance of the host building."