Plans to change a vacant pub into two three-bedroom flats have been approved by the council. 

Planning documents were submitted in April by Bal Singh of Abbs 2 Properties, to change the former Wellington Hotel on Todmorden Road in Bacup into two flats.

At a meeting of Rossendale Borough Council's planning committee at the beginning of the month it was agreed to approve the plans.

Once converted, the building, which has been vacant since 2015, will house two three-bedroom properties, one on the ground floor and one on the floor above, and there will be two safe storage cycle spaces made available.

The proposal also includes the erection of a fire escape at the rear to provide access to the first floor flat and to replace the existing timber casement windows with UPVC.

A planning statement submitted to the council read: "The property has been vacant since approximately 2015.

"The applicant has advised that it was on the market for 18 months with no offers.

"The structure is in need of modernisation and would not be financially viable due to the close proximity of other public houses within a 10 minute walking distance.

"The site is outside, but in close proximity to the Bacup District Centre.

"Due to the close proximity of other public houses within the centre and the length of time the property has been vacant and the presumption in favour of sustainable development it is considered that the principle of the proposed use is acceptable."

Highways had no objections to the planning application and was of the opinion that the proposals would have a negligible impact on highway safety and highway capacity within the immediate vicinity of the site, but did recommend increasing the number of cycle spaces available to two for each flat, making a total of four.

A spokesperson for Highways stated: "The site does not provide any off highway parking however it is located within a highly sustainable location with good access to public transport and local amenities.

"The submitted documentation also indicates that secure cycle storage will be provided, however this should be increase to two secure cycle storage spaces per flat, resulting in four secure cycle storage spaces in total."