A former hotel which already houses 14 apartments is to have another three units created on the second floor, after councillors approved a planning application.

Plans to convert the second floor of the former Holden Vale Hotel in Holcombe Road, Helmshore, into three apartments - one three-bedroom and two two-bedroom - were lodged with Rossendale Borough Council in December, and this week, the plans were approved, with conditions.

Planning permission had already been granted for the former hotel in 2016, originally permitting the creation of 15 apartments across all three floors of the building.

The permission was implemented, however, it was not in accordance with the submitted scheme, and 14 apartments were developed across the ground and first floor, which have been in residential use since 2017.

An application for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) to confirm the lawfulness of the 14 apartments is currently being dealt with by the planning authority, and this most recent application, seeking permission for a further three apartments on the second floor of the former hotel, will take the total to 17; two more than was originally granted consent.

Lancashire Telegraph:

A planning statement submitted to the council reads: "It is proposed that the second floor of the building be converted to three residential apartments.

"This would take the total number of apartments in the building to 17.

"It should be noted that the principle of the use of the entire building of residential purposes, including the second floor, was established by the grant of appeal, and as previously referenced, this permission was implemented, albeit not in accordance with the submitted scheme.

"It is proposed that the second floor would accommodate two two-bed apartments and one three-bed apartment.

"The apartments would be located in the western portion of the building.

"The two-bed apartments would each comprise a kitchen/lounge/dining room, bathroom and two double bedrooms, one of which would be en-suite.

"The three-bed apartment includes an office and additional double bedroom.

"No external alterations are proposed with all existing openings being retained.

"It should be noted that the proposals replicate those approved on the second floor as part of the approved appeal scheme, where two two-bed and one three-bed apartments were approved in the same configuration and with similar internal layouts.

"An important material consideration in the case of the proposed development is the previous residential approval associated with the site.

"The appeal was allowed in 2014 which granted planning approval for ‘Conversion and alteration of the former Holden Vale Hotel to form 15 apartments’.

"The appeal was made against the LPA’s non-determination of the planning application dated November 2011.

"The appeal decision did not include a condition referring to approved plans for the scheme. However, the submitted plans proposed a development comprising of 15. apartments spread across the ground, first and second floors of the building, with storage provided in the basement level.

"On the second floor, three apartments were proposed. The configuration of the second floor as now proposed is the same as for the approved scheme, with some minor layout changes.

"The conversion of the building was not undertaken in line with the approved scheme; 14 apartments were created across the ground and first floor, with no accommodation provided on the second floor.

"Of these, eight apartments are located at ground floor level, with six on the first floor.

"The units created were completed in 2016/17 and have been occupied as residential dwellings in excess of four years. As such, it is considered that these dwellings are lawful.

"The previous decision established the principle of conversion of this building, and specifically the second floor, for residential development.

"Given the similarities between the approved scheme and the proposed development, this decision is considered an important material consideration in the determination of this planning application."

Permission was granted for the creation of the three new apartments and works should commence within the next three years.